CommunityNewsPeopleRon Baker

When You Are Crossed

Perhaps forgiveness is not an easy thing. I remember a friend of mine being defrauded of $100,000 in his business (back when that amount was worth something). The employee was given some punishment and yet, in the total scheme of things, this seemed far too lenient. The fired employee was still on my friend’s radar – particularly at church meetings and other gatherings. He felt crossed up by both the employee and others who took the employee’s side.

I wonder if we know what the word “cross” means. I remember my mother saying she was cross at me. That meant to me, as a child, that I had done something wrong and retribution was about to follow.

When someone crosses you up, you have been purposely taken advantage of. What should have been a normal transaction is now seen as a way to get something from you that is not deserved.

And then there is the Christian reference to the cross.

This year, at the Combined Good Friday service here in Kindersley, I will speak a bit about the cross of Jesus Christ. In the historical context of the yearly church calendar, this is perhaps the darkest day of the year.

We all live with the great expectation that comes from stories of heroes who conquer all. They are lauded, given parades and placed on pedestals for all to see. We are expected to emulate them – imitation being the greatest form of flattery for the hero. The hero is given free reign throughout the region and we bow to them for their bravery and courage.

This was the expectation of one who is called Jesus of Nazareth. He was expected to get rid of the oppressors of his nation of people. As the upstart opposition leader, his final act was to be the overthrow of the colonialist power of Rome.

Things were in place. He had his cabinet of people that would be leaders with him. He had the ear of the victims – and was heard by the oppressors. He had a policy platform – most notably seen in a speech given on a luxurious hilltop to his followers.

In the background though, this leader was telling others that they need to not be about power, wealth or fame. The default approach to governing was to be a helper, a servant. His followers were not quite sure that would work – at least not with the Romans.

Which proved true on Good Friday. The best way to eliminate a threat to colonialism is to kill the leader. The insurrection is over. The followers disband. Life goes back to normal.

The plot to eliminate the leader bore fruit – the execution was on a tree called a cross. Effective! Jesus is dead – the new world kingdom is stopped in its tracks.

Or so they thought. Crossing Jesus may not have been the best idea!!

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