I have seen many crosses in my life. With many Christs. Some – in beautiful theatrical poses, many – as if in a peaceful dream, few – in agony. I don’t know which ones are better, truer, more powerful depictions of what happened one day, nearly two thousand years ago… But, as I always felt uneasy at the sight of human suffering, the latter ones provoked immediate repulsion in me. And in the whole story of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection I preferred not to concentrate on the moments of suffering – too… ugly. I didn’t want to let the ugliness mar the beauty. Of course, I could not have missed this central episode of the Gospels completely, but tended to concentrate more on its symbolic meaning.
Now, I’ve come to realise that there is no other way for me to fight againts the sin, but by constantly reminding myself of His unbearable pain, the pain that is not somewhere in the past, or in a distant place, but in the present – here and now, before my eyes. It is not for the fear of our own suffering in some kind of afterlife that we must die to sin, but for the fear of adding to His pain. For what is more terrible – to be tortured or to look at the one whom you love being tortured because of you?
If we don’t seek to submit ourselves to His will, our every deed becomes like a nail, piercing the flesh of the one who loves us more than anyone in the world.