Crosses come in all sizes and shapes. They may have religious symbolism or they might just be a piece of jewelry. Pope Francis decided to keep his rather simple cross instead of getting a newer and more ornate cross when he became Pope. My aunt who is a Jehovah’s Witness once asked me if I would wear an electric chair pendant if that was the way Jesus was executed. I was only sixteen and didn’t have a good answer. It is interesting that we’ve made the symbol of a brutal form of execution a piece of decorative art. Perhaps that’s as it should be, since God has a tendency to turn things upside down!
I know that Palm Sunday is a week away, but according to the lectionary Jesus is already in Jerusalem. The world is behind him, and the cross lies before him. In that moment, Jesus declares: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Yes, according to John, this is the hour for which Jesus came into the world. It’s not that Jesus is excited about what lies before him. He confesses that his soul is troubled. He would like for this hour to pass him by, but he’s already crossed the threshold. There is only one way to go and that is forward toward the cross of glory.