14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:14 NLT

 

Tomorrow is the final class of a Bible Study series that I have been running with my friend and co-worker-in-the-Kingdom, the Rev. Rosemary Doran. We’ve been looking at the seven words from the cross – the things Jesus said in his final moments.

It’s been emotional and sometimes draining – to keep our eyes trained on Jesus during his suffering. To come back each week, to this horrible ending to his beautiful life. To keep him there, pinned and in pain, and not look away.

I think sometimes we avoid that. Who wants to focus on the suffering, after all? We know that the cross was a torturous way to die. We give thanks for what Jesus accomplished through it, but we don’t like to dwell on it too long. Good Friday service once a year is enough of that, thank you. As a congregant I know of once said, “It’s a bit of a downer.”

Yes. It is.

But there are also some incredibly beautiful lessons to be learned if we don’t shy away. And it has been profound to journey through Lent with these lessons confronting us each week.

This Lent, may you not shy away from the agony of the cross. May you know Christ suffered because his love was greater than all the pain he endured. May you know you are forgiven because he endured it.

 

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