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Take Up Your Cross

March 12, 2018

Well said, Ronnie, well said… a Chaplain I served with used to ask folks about the cross they wore around their neck, “Is that a piece of jewelry or a statement of faith?” Too often it is a piece of jewelry just like the fish logo on so many cars…

Ronnie McBrayer

20160228_104959I have had the opportunity to walk the famed Via Dolorosa, the “Way of Suffering.” This was the path walked by Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem on the morning as he headed to the cross. It’s not a lengthy route, half of a mile, from Rome’s Antonia Fortress to the execution site called Golgotha.

But what the walk lacked in distance, it more than made up for in intensity. Jesus carried his cross, at least the crossbeam portion, through narrow streets no wider than a modern urban alley. Onlookers and morning shoppers would have been so close to him, they could have reached out and touched him, his blood and sweat splattering on them as he went.

Roman soldiers, ablaze in red tunics and freshly polished armor, were constantly pushing the execution party onward. Cursing, kicking, sadistically laughing at the victims, jabbing and prodding with their spears from time…

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