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Communion 2010

A Sword Shall Pierce

Originally scheduled for May 9, 2010

It is written in Luke’s account of the nativity that Mary, the mother of Jesus, received a prophecy concerning her son: a sword would pierce her soul. This of course refers to Christ’s death on the cross.

When we look at the Cross, we see it differently than Mary did. What do we see?

  • We see the injustice of the sinless man crucified.
  • We see the sacrifice of the unblemished Lamb of God.
  • We see the atonement bringing our salvation.
  • But we see looking back at the Crucifixion. Mary saw it as it happened; her mind was looking forward. What did she see?

  • She saw her child publicly disgraced. Crucifixion was the punishment for many crimes; it was intended to be humiliating as well as painful. It was intended to humiliate the criminal’s family – a deterrent to crime.
  • She saw her child suffering. The pain and agony of the Cross is something we tend to gloss over; she had that directly before her eyes.
  • She saw the death of her hopes and dreams. This was the son who was to care for her in old age; this was the son who had achieved so much fame. Her hopes and dreams were great – then gone.
  • Consider it well: the road to our salvation ran through shame, suffering and sacrifice. Christ scorned the shame in order to do His Father’s will. He endured the suffering because of His great love for us. He is the sacrifice which atoned for our sins; none other would do. We see our salvation.

    We remember the destination, for this memorial celebrates not only the sacrifice but the result: salvation. We are commanded, however, to remember the road Christ traveled for us. From the ugliness of shame and suffering Christ brought forth the beauty of God’s love. Look past the salvation Christ bought for us, and see the price he paid.

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