Bearing the cross

Reading Luke 9

28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendour, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfilment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.

Thus the law of Christ is a law of bearing. Bearing means forbearing and sustaining. . . . The burden of men was so heavy for God Himself that He had to endure the Cross. God verily bore the burden of men in the body of Jesus Christ.

Life Together

Before Jesus takes his disciples with him into suffering, into humiliation and shame, into contempt, he gathers them around him and reveals himself to them as the Lord of God’s glory (Matt 17:1-9).

Before the disciples have to descend with Jesus into the abyss of human guilt, evil, and hate, Jesus leads them up on a high mountain, from which their help is to come (Ps 121:1).

Before Jesus’ face is struck and spit upon, before his clothing is torn and spattered with blood, the disciples are to see him in his divine brilliance. His face shines like the face of God, and the clothing he has on is dazzling white.

It is an enormous grace that the same disciples who in Gethsemane are to experience Jesus’ suffering with him can see him as the transfigured Son of God, as the eternal God. The disciples go to the cross with the knowledge of the resurrection. In this they are entirely like us. In this knowledge we are supposed to be able to bear the cross.