“But first the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.” These words from the 17th Chapter of Luke explain the beauty of being a Christian, the beauty of following this King, Jesus Christ.
It may seem a little callous to call the suffering of the Son of Man as beautiful, but consider the fact that our King is willing to do so. He is willing to suffer for his subjects. What other King is like this? We can find beauty in the fact that Jesus is willing so suffer for us and all we have to do is say, “yes I believe!” Yes, I believe and I am willing to carry whatever cross my king offers me. We can make this commitment because he will never ask us, to do anything that He is not willing to do or has not already done himself, this is beautiful! Our king, fully human and fully divine, is like us in every way but sin and in his humility his suffering is real. Though he is innocent and without sin, it pains him greatly to see us wallowing in the darkness of sin, his remedy is an offer, an offer for us to pick up our cross and follow him. When we accept we are giving him permission to absorb our sins so that we can find his kingdom and live in it today. How beautiful is that!
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” Jesus is void of sin, but he loves us so much that he is willing to absorb our sins, to purify us so that we can join him in his kingdom. So perhaps we should live our lives as if we are already part of his kingdom, as if it is already among us and share this beauty with those around us.
Deacon James Anderson is the Administrator at Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center in Houston, Texas.