The way to Crucification
proclaimed by Rev.Sakae Tomokawa at Tajiri Church on March 28th
Mathew 27:32 through 44th tells how Jesus was crucified on the cross. The passage tells not only Jesus’s passion but also every Christians’ way how to follow Jesus. When Jesus was forced to carry the cross, they happened to meet a man called Simon from Cyrene. Mark tells at 15;21 in Jesus’s passion narrative as follows “ They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus”. Romans also tells at 16:13 as follows “ Greet Rufus, chosen in the lord; and greet his mother—a mother tome also”.
Many people assume this Simon believed Jesus as his savior later on. No one knows how and what happened to him. There is one thing we are sure about Simon is this. He carried the cross and followed behind Jesus . But we should not forget he was forced to carry the cross compulsorily not with his will. We have many reasons to become a Christian. Our faith brings us joy and appreciation and sometimes require patience and greif. We should not forget about it.
I believe Simon felt the weight of the cross. I imagine he saw Jesus’ death and heard Jesus said. So Simon could believe love of God Jesus told.
Please take a close look at what people, the elders, the chief priests and the scribes did to Jesus. They were mocking him saying “ He saved others; he cannot save himself….let him come down from the cross now and we will believe in him. A German theologian Walter Luthi writes “ high ranking people cries Jesus on the cross saying save himself. A multitude cries the same thing . Soldier also cries the same. This cry “ save himself “ is our cry. But Jesu did not come down the cross even though he can. The words of “ if you are son of God, come down from the cross” is the same tempted Jesus in the wilderness. That temptation is dealing with miracle and money and fame people are eagerly after. We human being are weak in these matters.. There are so many religions that help us make those things come true easily. It could happen to anyone. It was a time “ church growth” was so popular back in late 1970 through 1980. That idea is that the bigger is the better. But things has changed darastically due to Covid-19 Coronavirus. This Coronavirus sounds an alarm bell on this way of thinking. Tajiri church is very small . Let us continue to live in hope following Jesus’ way of living “ The way to Crucification: Love of God: It is more blessed to give than to receive”.