We hail Thee, Saviour and Lord, Thy Cross ever be adored…! – By Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Eymard Fernando Bishop’s House,Kurunegala.
Source : island
Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday, is the Christian day to commemorate the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His Salvific Death on Calvary. Ever since Jesus died and was raised from the dead, Christians have proclaimed the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus to be the most decisive turning point for all creation and history. On Good Friday, we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by Crucifixion as the Ultimate Sacrifice for our sins (cf. Galatians 1:4).
The Holy Cross, which became the Altar for Jesus to offer the Supreme Sacrifice of His Life to God the Father, is the principal and most widely-recognized symbol in Christianity, recalling the redeeming benefits of His Passion and Death. Thus, it is a sign of both Christ Himself and the faith of Christians. The Holy Cross is, no doubt, a holy symbol; a constant reminder of profound love and forgiveness.
Many of us wear a Cross around our neck to proclaim, even in a quiet way, that we are Christians – we belong to Jesus Christ! We place images or icons of a Crucifix or a Cross in our houses, and hang Crosses in various places as a powerful means of fighting against evil. While it is really nice to see this symbol so accepted, it is also easy to lose sight of what this symbol was originally used to represent. Re-examining its origin, puts the Cross in an entirely new light. It is more than the near-universal symbol of Christianity.
This simple design carries with it a powerful and inspiring message of Love and Humility, Finality, Fulfilled Promises, and much more… to everyone around the world!
Love and Humility in the Cross
Crucifixion was a despised method of execution by the Roman Empire reserved only for the worst criminals. Jesus the Son of God absolutely did not deserve to die this way. But His choice to die this way in fulfillment of the prophecies shows His great humility in both life and death and His immense love for us. He gave up everything for us and for our salvation offering this Ultimate Sacrifice on the Cross.
Finality in the Cross
Right before dying, Our Lord Jesus declared: “It is finished” (St. John 19:30). The meaning of this statement can be understood as first as the immediate Earthly Life of Jesus was over. He would certainly show Himself after the Resurrection, but the Cross marked a turning point in His relationship with the world. Secondly, the ultimate price for our sins is paid in full. No amount of prayers or good deeds could ever make us more fit for Heaven than what Jesus did and completed on His own on the Altar of the Cross.
Fulfillment of Promises in the Cross
For anyone familiar with the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, the Cross represents the culmination of all the prophecies dating back to the ancient times. God promised to send a Saviour to suffer and die, taking upon Himself the punishment that we deserve for our sins. The Holy Bible made everything clear, even down to the exact method of death – for instance, Psalm 22 describes the method of Crucifixion centuries before it took place. The Cross of Christ Jesus ends this line of prophecy and shows the fact that Our God is a God Who is ever faithful to His promises.
My Daily Cross is My Union with the Lord!
Jesus’ Cross comes to me in my daily life in the form of a struggle. What is this struggle? It is none other than the continuous conflict between God’s Holy Will and my own will, two sides of the Cross representing each. Most of the time, we complain that the Cross we have to carry is too burdensome. Here, our attitude has to be that God knows what is best than we ourselves do.
A story is told of a man who goes to Jesus wanting to trade out his life’s Cross for a smaller one. He tells the Lord, “I see the Crosses others are carrying and theirs are much more bearable than mine. Why does my Cross have to be so cumbersome and heavy? Other people carry their Crosses with ease but mine is hindering my day-to-day life.”
Jesus leads the man to a room full of Crosses. Some are big and others are small. The man is then instructed to put down his Cross and then go and select a new one. The only stipulation was once he made his selection, he could never complain or exchange his Cross again. He went on for hours searching for a Cross that fits him. The big Crosses were just as he assumed very large and very heavy. He knew there was no way he could ever carry those Crosses. Even the smaller Crosses were shockingly painful. Some had stickers that constantly stuck you in the shoulder or back. Others were oddly shaped and rubbed the neck raw. Finally, the man came upon a Cross that he thought perfect for him. Not too big; not too little! There were no sharp prodding objects and it rested perfectly on his shoulder, so it would not irritate him as he carried it. The man, with delight, cried out, “Here it is, Lord.” Jesus asked the man, “Are you sure? Remember there are no trades or exchanges and no more complaining about your Cross.” The man replied, “I am sure. This is the perfect Cross for me.” To which Jesus replied, “My Child, don’t you realize that it is the very Cross you were carrying in with you today?”
The obvious moral to the story is that we all have our own Crosses to bear. We all have struggles in life. Regardless of the type of the Cross, the plain and simple truth is that we all have Crosses that we are capable of bearing!
Let us, therefore, keep our eyes fixed on our ultimate goal and know that we can make it to the end being inspired by the words of St. John Mary Vianney which go as, “You must accept your Cross; if you bear it courageously it will carry you to Heaven!”