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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Meditations on the Cross

"See the hour is near, and the Son of Man, is betrayed into the hands of sinners."

"Betrayed," says Jesus. It is not the world that gains power over him. Rather, Jesus is now delivered up, surrendered, abandoned by his own disciples. The protection they gave is now relinquished, they do not want to be burdened with him any longer: Let the others have him. And that is what happens. Jesus is discarded, his friends protective hands fall at their sides. Let the hands of the sinners do with him what they will. Let them seize him, those whose unholy hands were never permitted to touch him. Let them play with him, mock him, beat him. We can no longer do anything about it. That is what it means to destroy Jesus: one no longer intervenes for him, one delivers him over to the mockery and power of the public, one lets the world do with him what it wants, one no longer stands by him. Jesus own disciples deliver him over to the world. That is his death.

Those are the reflections of the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer from a sermon given March 14, 1937, the fifth Sunday in Lent.

Each year I read through
"Meditations on the Cross," a series of Bonhoeffer's reflections on the cross, resurrection, suffering, and overcoming death.

This year I am in Mexico for Easter. After almost twenty years serving in my adopted country, this is only the third or fourth time I will celebrate Jesus' resurrection here.

As befits the dominant Catholic culture, there is a big emphasis on the suffering of Christ in Mexico. Something US theology sometimes leaves behind. I believe to our detriment.

As I read the passage above, in light of the life and death of Jesus, I am struck by the following:
"…they do not want to be burdened with him any longer…[and so] Jesus is discarded."

Jesus, the Son of Man, is cast aside, much like an unwanted book or toy. One can only imagine the hurt that he must have felt at that moment. I ache thinking about it.

Because there are times in my life when I do the same. I cast my friend Jesus aside. For my own selfish desires. For my own interests. For my own 30 pieces of silver. Because sometimes at the moment when I must make the decision to stand with Jesus, I don't want to be burdened with him.

And he suffers anew. Just like that day over 2000 years ago. But there is hope. Because we know the resurrection to be true!

Bonhoeffer says "The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God's yes to us," ... death is defeated and forgiveness is ours.

Gracias Dios, Amen.

Comments on "Meditations on the Cross"


Blogger CommuterJames said ... (7:11 PM) : 

Lately, I've begun to realize how the disciples must have felt when Jesus died. In the last two years I've lost two of my closest friends to tragedies...both sickness and most recently, a tragic and sudden car accident. It hurts. You believe in a sovereign God, don't believe he'll really let that person die (as the disciples must have waited for Christ to just step off that cross) I've waited for God to rescue his other children. But he doesn't. I used to be angry at him, as I'm sure they were too. Sometimes it doesn't feel like death is defeated...but God reigns supreme doesn't he?


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (8:51 PM) : 

Jimmy, you know that He does, even when we don't understand it.


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