This past Sunday was Palm Sunday. Everyone received a palm branch to carry for the church service in the morning. After the service, our goddaughter asked me if we could make the palm branches into crosses. I told her I didn’t know how. I asked her if she knew how, but she didn’t know either. So, after getting home, I looked up “Palm Crosses” on YouTube, and low and behold…there was a video on how to make palm crosses.
The palm leaves we had to work with were nowhere near as big as the ones in the video, but I think the crosses turned out okay. They are “mini-palm crosses.” I sometimes wonder why, as Christians, we focus so much on the symbol of the cross. We have crosses in almost every church. We wear crosses on necklaces. We have crosses on our T-shirts. We tattoo crosses on our bodies. The cross is ubiquitous. Jesus did so many things. He taught us how to live, how to treat others, and he rose from the dead. Why don’t we wear empty tombs on our necklaces or have empty tombs in our churches?
Tonight I watched The Passion with my wife. The movie is a good reminder that the cross, for Jesus, was not the only way he suffered. He suffered betrayal from his friends, beating, mocking, and a very long journey carrying the cross up the hill. He was already near death from Roman lashings while carrying the cross. He could not have even made the journey without the help of a complete stranger. Jesus said that no one has greater love than those that lay down their lives for their friends. The cross, for Jesus, was the pinnacle of his suffering and death for his friends. The cross was the pinnacle of his love for his friends. Jesus calls us his friends. We remember his suffering and love for us every time we see the cross.