When we take a good look at the cross with Jesus hanging on it, I think that somehow we must come to realize that our sins helped to put him there.
We cannot think that this is just an act of self-righteous Jews and brutal Romans. Every time we allow sin to seduce us with its distortions, we nail Jesus to the cross once again.
There is an old episode of MASH, in which a rather cocky young pilot comes to the MASH unit because his plane has been shot down, but he is not seriously injured. He tells everyone in a rather boasting voice that flying really gives him a high.
“If I could not fly, this war would really by a drag”, he says. He brags that every time he flies a couple of missions they send him back to the base for several weeks of R & R. The war to him was really quite a lark.
Then one day a Korean child is brought to the MASH unit and her arm has been horribly mangled in an air attack. The young pilot is shocked at the sight. Even though it was not his plane that did it, for the first time he must face his own complicity in the brutality of war.
For the first time he sees things not from the perspective of 10,000 feet, but in the eyes of a child.
This is what is going on in the Ukraine for the past six weeks. Russian pilots are dropping bombs on innocent citizens, even children. They do not have the perspective of the dying and the injured below them. When you and I sin, we too do not have the perspective of Jesus suffering on the cross as a result of what we have done or said.
There is a danger in romanticizing the cross, whether it hangs in a church or on a wall in our homes. The cross is not meant to lull us, it is meant to jolt us to help us realize the real harm our words and our sins can do.
Spend some moments this Monday of Holy Week looking at Jesus hanging on the cross.
THE CROSS DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE. JESUS’ LOVE HAS NO BOUNDARIES ABOUT WHO JESUS LOVES OR DOES NOT LOVE!