Thursday, February 18, 2016

Stations of the Cross - 2: Jesus Takes the Cross

photo by Jim Forrest / flickr
"Jesus was led away,

and carrying the cross by


went out to what is called the 

 Place of the Skull." 

(in Hebrew, Golgotha)

     --John  19.17

Standing here looking up as Jesus takes the cross
I remember that story that Victor Hugo told in Les Miserables.

"She had only one thought, to fly; to fly with all her might, across woods, across fields, to houses, to windows, to lighted candles. Her eyes fell upon a bucket...She grasped the handle with both hands, She could hardly lift the bucket.

She went a dozen steps in this manner, but the bucket was full, it was heavy, she was compelled to rest it upon the ground...She walked bending forward, her head down, like an old woman: the weight of the bucket strained and stiffened her thin arms.

                                    .             .           .           .          .

Arriving near an old chestnut tree which she knew...the poor little despairing thing could not help crying: 'Oh! my God! my God!'

At that moment she felt all at once that the weight of the bucket was gone. A hand, which seemed enormous to her, had just caught the handle, and was carrying it early. She raised her head. A large dark form, straight and erect, was walking beside her in the gloom. It was a man who had come up behind her, and whom she had not heard. This man, without saying a word, had grasped the handle of the bucket she was carrying.

                             .             .            .              .           .

There are instincts for all the crises of life.
the child was not afraid.

Later, Victor Hugo wrote, the child learned to call him father and knew him by no other name."*

As Jesus carried his cross I remembered this old story. I wonder why.*

"Therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested." --Hebrews 2. 17-18

*I first discovered this story in Carlyle Marney's, Faith in Conflict (New York: Abingdon, 11957) pp. 41-42

--Roger Lovette /


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