By Cassandra Smith
God loves me! The full measure of His love is displayed on the Cross.
I read in CS Lewis’ Letters to Malcolm that the image of Christ crucified was not popularized until those who had borne witness to the crucifixion were long gone. The agony, humiliation and horror of a crucifixion is not the kind of image we might choose for the next Hallmark card to our sweetheart, yet it’s the ultimate image of true and lasting love and healing of our brokenness.
John reminds his audience of the day when Moses mounted a bronze serpent to a pole. When someone was bitten by a snake, they would gaze upon the bronze serpent to be healed (see Nm 21:9). For those suffering, the journey to Moses must have been terrible. Fraught with anxiety and physical discomfort.
I wonder if we could observe the whole scene of the crucifixion, if we might see the Father holding his only son on the Cross, knowing it would be a difficult journey for us to get there to the foot of the cross and even more painful to gaze upon the brutality He endured for us.
We carry many scars, wounds from the various “bites” we have experienced. We allow so many things to occupy our gaze and interrupt our journey. Our fears, worries, doubts. I find myself listening to the hissing of the serpent in my ear. He plants words of self-doubt, comparison, and envy. He leads me to believe lies that I am not good enough, not smart, or pretty or lovable. But these are all lies.
I am called to bring those sufferings with me to gaze upon Jesus. And while I’m there, I might recall these words John 3:16, which we read today.