Committing to the Cross

By Dr. Kristen Barnes-Holiday, Ph.D., Contributing Columnist

A few weeks ago, my pastor spoke about our purposes in Christ. And as she recounted Jesus’ purpose and journey to the cross, she said, “Jesus could look beyond the cross because He knew what awaited him on the other side.” As these words were uttered, a series of thoughts drifted through my memory bank, foremost highlighting the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, but also the significance of Jesus’ journey to and through the cross.

Considering that we’ve just celebrated one of the most sacred times in Christianity—Holy Week culminating with Resurrection Sunday—it is vital to consider the impact of the Resurrection through both a historical and contemporary lens. However, it is important to begin this reflection by looking beyond the cross and the aftermath that immediately followed Jesus’ Resurrection to the impact of the cross within a contemporary context.

John 12 recounts Jesus’ pilgrimage through Jerusalem approximately a week before His agonizing death on the cross. This passage is legendary because it illuminates Jesus’ passion for the people and his quest to grant humanity salvation, and, lest we forget—John simultaneously captures Jesus’ humanness leading up to this pivotal passage. It is important to remember that God came to the earth as a human being to intimately understand humanness and pay the debt of sin, granting humankind eternal life. So, as we see in John 12, Jesus is on his last tour, so to speak, as a human being. While the people have gathered to witness Jesus Christ—as He made his way through the crowd on the back of a donkey—shouting “Hosanna,” meaning, save me now (from the Roman oppressors), Jesus was actually there to celebrate being the King, the Messiah and the Prince of Peace. Jesus was on a quest to rescue the souls of the people. And though Jesus was a marked man because not everyone liked nor celebrated him, and while his omnipotence allowed him to be cognizant of his upcoming crucifixion, He was well aware of what awaited him on the other side of the cross—saving His people and a rebirth amongst humanity.

Jesus endured the cross for a price that cannot be disputed.

Jesus’ sacrifice reminds me of a looming thought as we descend from a week of holiness and celebration. Though Jesus physically bore the cross—and praise God that Christians do not have to experience this form of suffering—Christians are called to bear our own crosses or submit to Christ in our own unique ways. In which ways will you remain submitted to Christ beyond the Lenten season and the Celebration of the Resurrection?

Let’s not deduce the cross to be a mere form of symbolism or a once-a-year celebration; instead, we should recognize that we carry Christ and our own crosses with us daily. Choose your crosses wisely and know that God is with you, embracing you and shaping you as you make decisions daily.

Until next time…

Love and blessings.

Dr. Kristen Barnes-Holiday, Ph.D., is a professor of English at Wayne County Community College District, a second-year divinity student at Duke University, and a Christian blogger. In addition, she is a teacher, preacher, and lifelong student of the Word of Jesus Christ.


About Post Author

From the Web

Skip to content