Friday Thoughts: Instrument of Peace


Jean Francois de Troy (1679-1752), Christ carrying the Cross, study

.When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.—John 19:30


The cross is merely an instrument.

For there is nothing inherently painful about the trunk of a tree.

It is not the cross itself that crucifies.

But there is something about the cross that leads us either to death or to life.

It is our relationship with that piece of “wood” that ultimately colors our perception of earthly existence and its inherent sufferings.

And Christ shows us the way.

For there has never been a man more at peace than Christ Jesus upon The Cross—for there has never been a man more aligned to the will of The Father.

Yes, from the eyes of the world it was complete chaos. It was an utter mess. Destruction. Torture. Shame. Disappointment. A mockery. But from Heaven’s perspective it was complete fulfillment. It was utter completion. It was wholeness. It was oneness. It was unity. It was Shalom.

For Christ knew the joy set before Him.

Yet He who existed before time did not manipulate time in order to escape what was in reality unspeakable pain.

And that is what He teaches.

Not to deny the pain. Not to even to avoid it. But to experience it from within the realm of His Kingdom, and as He Himself tells us, that Kingdom “is within”, that Kingdom “is at hand”.

That Kingdom is here and now when there is no separation between God’s child and His will.

Christ shows us this through His Passion.

He shows us that it is our relationship with those crisscrossed beams that makes carrying them either hard and heavy or “easy” and “light”.

He shows us that all our joy depends on our relationship with suffering—with our relationship with The Cross—with our relationship with The Tree of Life.

Our Father has given us free will in order to make a simple choice. To love or not to love…and “greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”.

We love one another by dying for each other—by “spending” our lives in service of one another—and the cross is the bridge that allows us to span that exchange.

The cross is merely an instrument.


“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”—Hebrews 12:2



—Howard Hain


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