One of the themes running through our Lent studies has been considering others. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I visited a young couple and their beautiful little daughter. They have a lovely home, but it’s not very big. Every time we visit, a beautifully upholstered chair is brought down from the guest room for me to sit on. It’s not only beautiful but extremely comfortable. However, it does take up a fair amount of room in a small sitting room. As we arrived, I was met with ‘We’ve brought down your chair, and you can take it home with you because it would help us with space’.
Amidst the agony of the cross that he had to endure, Jesus offered forgiveness to the Roman soldiers who cast lots for his outer clothing. When the prisoner who was also crucified with him asked, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,’ Jesus responded by saying, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’ Jesus asked his disciple John to look after his mother, and his mother to look after John as they both stood at the foot of the cross.
Jesus had no sin of his own, and when he cried out ‘It is finished’ as he died, he did so conquering death and the consequences of our sin – for us. All too often we cannot see the end of a dark tunnel which we may be walking down as life throws its worst at us. The victory of the cross reveals a light at the end of the tunnel and speaks of hope. Jesus’ words on the cross challenge us always to give ourselves away, considering others, to offer forgiveness to those who spitefully use us for their own gain and to express a care and concern for the well-being of our friends and family in their own crises. When I was given the chair, I said to my husband, ‘I feel it is too good for me.’ It is a beautiful chair. My furniture has had a lot of wear over the years, so this new addition rather stands out! When we allow God’s love to fill our hearts, not waiting until we feel ‘worthy’, then we can look past our own needs to those around us.