Shame to Exaltation

During the time of Moses, the Israelites were being bitten by snakes. Since the people cried to the Lord for help, God told Moses to put an image of a snake on top of the pole and that anyone who looks at it, will be saved. Indeed it happened, and many Israelites were saved from death.

Tomorrow we celebrate the Exaltation of the Cross. How can we exalt the cross, when during the time of Jesus, to die on the cross was the ultimate embarrassment? It was lowliest form of dying. 

  1. Jesus experienced suffering. He was falsely accused and his enemies made him suffer. What made the passion more difficult was that the Mother of Jesus was a witness to all this. It is very hard for a Mother to see her son suffering and very hard for a son to see his Mother suffering.
  2. Jesus felt abandoned. One of the last words of Christ, “My God, my God why have you abandoned me?” How true is it that when we are suffering, the feeling is that God is distant, God is quiet, and God does not care?
  3. Jesus died on the Cross. The question was, did Jesus really have to die on the cross? With His power as God, could He have saved us without dying?

Yet, we exalt the cross because we have experienced the Love of God.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…

John 3:16

To give his life as ransom for us is the ultimate love. For us to be saved though, God respects our free will. We can only be saved if we reciprocate this love. As Jesus said on the last day, the sheep and goat will be separated. The sheep are the ones who have loved. (When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat…). The goats the ones who are accursed because they did not love (When I was hungry you did not give me something to eat).

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