This statement sounds like an invitation from one person to another. Probably from a shepherd to his flock or from a friend to a friend, or from a believer to a believer. It could even be from a believer to unbeliever or from unbeliever to unbeliever. When invitation like this comes to anyone, especially one who is hearing Calvary for the first time. The likely question he/she may ask is where is Calvary?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CROSS. Cross is made of two chunks of wood –vertical and horizontal-. The cross is similar to a Mathematical positive sign. When a vertical line is drawn across a horizontal line that means the vertical line- canceled out the horizontal line. The horizontal line represents man’s way of life in relationship to her neighbor in day to day activities, while the vertical line represent God’s love and mercy towards man. That is to say the love of God canceled out the sins of man. Put in another form the word evil was re-written as live. In other words evil (wickedness of man) was substituted with live. On the cross man- who was doomed to die now live
At Calvary Jesus was crucified with two criminals on his right and left hand side. The love of God prevailed over the sin of man. No wonder Jesus was denied fear hearing. .Barabbas the condemned criminal was set free in place of Christ -the innocent- to fulfill the prophecy as recorded in Isaiah 53:5 “but he was pierce for our transgression, he was crushed for our iniquity, the punishment that brought us piece was on his shoulder and by his wound we are healed. By this act he purchase for mankind forgiveness, purity, deliverance, healing, salvation and peace.
CALVARY OF TODAY. Since Christ has died for us at Calvary we are not dying again on the cross. The death we will die now is to die to self. What is self? St. Paul explains this in Colossian 3:5-8 “put to death therefore whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lost, evil desires, and greed -which is idolatry. Because of this the wrath of God is coming. You use to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourself of all such things as these, anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips”. hence Christ said to his disciples” if any man would come after me let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me .for whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. , though cross is naturally unattractive and unpalatable to carry, because Christ has made it a means of liberation and source of joy, it becomes a must for every follower of Christ. The saying “no cross no crown” is very true in this respect. There is no cross free Christianity Jesus never promises us one. In Matthew Gospel 10:38 he says” anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Every Christian has a cross to carry. But each person’s own differs from another. Crosses are every day challenges in life. It was St. John Vianney, who said, “Contradictions bring us to the foot of the cross and the cross to the gate in heaven”. Jesus knows that paths without obstacles don’t lead to any where important. the harder the conflict the more glorious triumphs “.You may be passing through difficult times now in your life, career, academic, family or marriage., the list is endless, you may have done all in your power to remedy the situation but to no avail. Don’t be discouraged Jesus as our model fell trice with his cross on the way to Calvary and did not quit the journey. Know that God sometimes allows crosses to come but the truth is that on the cross lies your crown.
To conclude, according to the sermon by St. Peter Chrysologus (bishop) there are three things that will sustain one’s faith,in the journey of life, prayer, fasting, and mercy or alms giving. One cannot go without the other two. Prayer knocks, fasting obtains and mercy receives. Prayer clears the ground, fasting tills and plough while mercy waters. Fasting is the soul of prayer while mercy is the life blood of fasting. If you want to receive you must give, if you want to be shown mercy, you must show others mercy if you want to be loved you must love others, if you want God to feed you feed others