Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

On the Way to the Cross

I want to spend some time this Lenten season reflecting how we naturally walk with Mary and Peter to the Cross, to Easter and then on to Pentecost. When I wrote The Real Mary, the one theme that came home to me was this: to follow Mary is a walk to the cross. She’s an excellent subject (as is Peter) for a journey through Lent. I begin with this:
Mary is more than a Christmas creche figure; Peter is more than an example of a disciple doing goofy things. Both are profound examples of the mind-numbing challenge first century Jews had with embracing a crucified Messiah. Not just the “idea” of a crucified Messiah, but the real one himself: Jesus. Nothing normal in Jewish expectation prepared Jews for the notion that the Messiah would enter into his reign through a crucifixion. That story is told more by Mary than Peter, but their stories are nearly identical. It is a pity that we Protestants have ignored Mary (whose Magnificat reveals messianic expectation) and permitted Peter to reveal the first century struggle with a crucified Messiah.
Pick up your Gospels, find the stories about Mary and Peter, and watch them unfold with me. Here’s the big picture. If you are thinking about them through Lent, I’d love to hear your thoughts… but you don’t have to be doing those things to chime in.
If we walk with Mary, we will find a woman who is visited by angels, filled with prophetic words about what God will do through her Son, informed of her Son’s suffering, and who year-in and year-out pondered just how in the world her Son would become the Messiah. She grew year-by-year in her perception, and her growth actually mirrors our own: struggling with a crucified Messiah is our story, too. She came to terms with a crucified Messiah, but she came to it honestly: she struggled with Jesus.
If we walk with Peter, we will find a man who encountered Jesus early, who was called to be a disciple at the very beginning, who became a prominent leader among the apostles, but who also — not unlike Mary — thought a crucified Messiah was an unacceptable and unbiblical idea. Peter, too, struggled with the cross and with a Jesus who thought his end would be on a cross.
Lent might be a time for us to ponder how we, too, struggle with the Cross. But, once we find ourselves on Easter morning gazing at the Risen-after-Crucified Messiah, we learn the struggle was worth it. Join me on Mondays for a new series, a Lenten series: “On the Way to the Cross (with Mary and Peter).”

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posted February 21, 2007 at 3:05 am

I had always given things up during Lent in a ‘fasting’ sort of way. This season I am fasting for the entire 40 days. I think reflecting on people like Mary and Peter would be a good discipline during this time. In the past I thought more about what I was giving up then what I was supposed to be reflecting on. Thanks for the insights and encouragement Scot.

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posted February 21, 2007 at 3:37 am

Gospel Planet » On the Way to the Cross

[…] Original post by Jesus Creed […]

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Ted Gossard

posted February 21, 2007 at 5:37 am

Scot, Thanks.
We accept the cross of Christ as gospel truth. But what we struggle with is what this means for our own lives. I think it involves a radical way, that runs against the grain of the world (Galatians 6:14). Though we may be understanding it better, we have to live it out. And it certainly includes death to self and sin, as well as life and obedience to God (Romans 6). But it’s one thing to know that. We must live it out by humbly following, in confession and in all our brokenness. Towards wholeness and renewal.

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Beyond Words

posted February 21, 2007 at 9:26 am

I am really looking forward to walking with Mary and Peter to the cross. Thanks, Scot

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posted February 21, 2007 at 11:37 am

Speaking of the Way of the Cross: Let me invite you to participate in one that friends of mine our hosting. It will be the third year that we have hosted a Way of the Cross through the streets of downtown Chicago on the morning of Good Friday. Let me know if you are interested. As soon as the flyers and website is up, I’ll have links on my blog.

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Andrew Arndt

posted February 21, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Hey Scot,
I look forward to this series of postings as I am walking with my church through the “bright sadness” of Lent; and, of course, learning to embrace the cruciformity of the way of God’s kingdom is integral to that. We’re anticipating God to do good things in us as we journey courageously toward pascha.
Don’t know how much you’re doing so lately, but you might check out LeRon Shults’s bloggings on the three classical ways of spiritual transformation: purgation, illumination, and union. This is the stuff of Lent.
Godspeed to you

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posted February 21, 2007 at 3:24 pm

relevintage – a blog by brad andrews

[…] Read more about Lent from these writers: Brian Orme Jonny Baker Scot McKnight Richard F. Wilson […]

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posted February 21, 2007 at 5:03 pm

40 Days of…Lint? « A Pilgrims Way

[…] 1. On the way to the cross […]

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posted February 22, 2007 at 7:33 pm

Scot, I mentioned I would post info on the Way of the Cross when I got more. Here’s the website at which more info can be obtained:
It’s not fully up yet, but should be finalized soon.

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