Where is Jesus in the depths of our suffering? He is the God who became wholly human, who stood by our side, who sucked into himself every ounce of sin and suffering and brutality of this world, before then and after, in total injustice, absorbed it, held it, overcame it and rose from the dead, and is alive and with us by his Spirit today in reality and truth. And therefore death is defeated, despair is overcome, whatever we feel, wherever we are, however weak we are, afraid we are, depressed we are. You can be overwhelmed by the sorrows of this world – many are, sadly; depression assails them and only darkness seems all around. And yet Jesus remains light, whatever we feel, and loves us, however much we turn away.
So this cross is for all of us. It is the cross of sorrows and grief, that says God loved us enough to come and share every ounce of it with us. Grace upon grace, love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be.
And the response he calls us to – to trust this grace and love with our lives. The one who is lifted high on the cross requires more than a glance from us, more than a quick squint or look. He calls us to believe, to trust, to take this love for us as the most certain thing in our lives. To become those who take up our cross and follow him. Who consider it fitting for us not to live life for ourselves, for our own glory, our own power, because that way lies evil and darkness. But live our lives for others, sacrificing everything. That is what it means to take up our cross, it’s what Jesus said. And when we do that, the morning breaks, the light fills our lives and our hearts and our world.
And as God’s people we are called to go out and draw others to find that extraordinary life that is found in the death of Jesus Christ.
from Justin Welby's sermon this week at Bristol Cathedral. Read the rest here.