Title of the Piece: Crossed feelings
Station: Jesus Taking up the Cross
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame…
What feelings must have Jesus experienced as he took up the Cross? And what similar emotions might we have experienced over this Easter Season? Four things specifically came to mind: Agony, Tears, Overwhelmed, and Joy.
AGONY (cringing eyebrow)
Jesus has been whipped and has a crown of thorns on by now. I know that Acts 8:33 says that as a lamb is silent being led to the slaughter, Jesus also did not open his mouth. Yet I have to wonder whether this meant he simply didn’t defend himself or whether even in the midst of all the torture he didn’t even make a noise. I still picture him screaming in agony at some point, but since I did not decide to have him yelling in the painting, I tried to show agony in the way his eyebrow formed.
TEARS (wet cheeks)
I have to also wonder whether Jesus cried. Would he be cried out at this point, too tough to cry, or were tears rolling down his face. I would like to think there were tears at some point. It could’ve been the physical pain or the pain of rejection or even the sorrow for these mistaken people, but I picture Jesus crying.
OVERWHELMED (bloody eyes)
I wonder whether he was tempted to give up. Even though Jesus didn’t sin, I still believe he could be tempted. As he picked up the cross and looked at the walk ahead of him, I wonder if the state of humanity or even the frustration of blood running into his eyes would be enough to just want to throw in the towel. Did Jesus, much like his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, ever think about not picking up his cross and just dying or asking for God’s intervention again?
JOY (smirking mouth)
Hebrews 12:2 says, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.” I loved how in the film, “Passion of the Christ” Jesus has a flashback of a good times in his life as well as bad. I know he was in excruciating pain, but I have to wonder if there was ever a moment where he smirked or a small smile came across his face as he picked up the cross. Maybe he caught a glimpse of a disciple he loved dearly or maybe he thought about how the disciples actually being able to understand what he had said about picking up their cross so many times before, or maybe he thought for a moment to the Father, “We can do this.”
Have you experienced these emotions over the Easter season?
If you have been in pain over this Easter season,
There are stones lying around. Hold and squeeze one as hard as you can for as long as you need to express the stress you have experienced and know that God understands and has been through pain. He even promises for us to come out glorious on the other side.
For this reason [Jesus] had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18
If you have shed tears over this Easter season,
There is a jar and a bowl. You can pour the water in the bowl or dip your finger in the water and run your finder down your cheek like a tear and know that Jesus cried during this season as well.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
If you have experienced joy over this Easter season,
Take a piece of paper or card. Write a note to yourself or someone with a verse, story, or thought that has brought you joy in this season. Be amazed at how Jesus would’ve encapsulated all these actions below as he picked up his cross:
Be joyful always, Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances...
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
If you have been overwhelmed over the Easter season,
There are paper, pens, and a trashcan. Write down all that is overwhelming you, tear it up and throw it in the trash, to express how you have felt throwing in the towel in the past little bit and be encouraged.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16