The Shadow of the Cross

Bill on his birthday last year, 9/10/16
Can you imagine how Peter felt to hear Jesus predict the suffering, passion, and death He would soon face? He protests, saying, “God forbid… such a thing shall ever happen to you.” I think most of us would react the same way to hear someone we love making such terrible predictions. Yet Jesus very strongly reprimands Peter, reminding him that there is so much he has yet to understand about the ways of God.

Recently, my husband Bill was diagnosed with cancer. When I heard the doctor describe the pain that his treatment would cause, I also wanted to say, “God forbid that he should have to go through such suffering!” Yet the promised cure for his cancer will only come through the pain of surgery, the burns of radiation, and the sickness caused by the chemo drugs. But despite the suffering, this treatment will ultimately be life-giving, and I would not want him to refuse it.

In the same way, Jesus tells Peter that there is no other path to life but the cross. Jesus shows us the way, willingly suffering the pain of the scourging, the feeling of abandonment, the piercing thorns and the nails, the unquenchable thirst, and finally death on the cross, all so that our healing could be won, and our lives saved.

Anytime you are facing a difficult path; pain, illness, grief, troubles of any kind, turn to God. He is with you and He knows what you’re going through. He does not want you to suffer, yet because sin and death have entered into the world, there is suffering in this life. By passing through it Himself, Jesus opened the path to life. Do not be afraid, because God is with you. Take up your cross and follow Him. Together, you can get through anything. Trust in Him.