This morning was an early start as I took part in a day pilgrimage to blackburn cathedral from Preston. A wonderful walk of only 10 miles. We all shared a large wooden cross through choice, that was strapped to a backpack on the journey and we all chatted and enjoyed the weather, the sunrise and and the wonderful breakfast prepared for us by some ladies in the church. It was a wonderful expression of Christian fellowship.
It was also far removed from when Jesus had to bare the cross and when He had a helper Simon the Cyrene, who was forced into to carry the cross by the Roman soldiers. When reflecting on Jesus’ walk I thought about how this truly shows his humanity. Jesus was fully human, and fully God. But Jesus not being able to carry the cross because He was so weak shows perfectly how He had all the human frailties and concerns that we have.
The sunrise picture was taken at about 6.30am at tickle trout just on the M6 in Preston. On our journey there were many rests and points to pause and reflect, or just gaze into the wonderful sky as it unfolded for us in the morning light.
21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.
We walked and reflected on our faith. We shared the wooden cross for small distances so none of us was really out of breath and our only discomfort was the odd can of litter.
Jesus had no time to pause and reflect as he was being forced to carry the cross, perhaps even His breathing was struggling by now, and onwards to get to his execution point. He was struggling so much a member of the crowd was seized and forced to help Him.
We could listen quietly to the birds singing and nature waking up to another day.
Jesus was forced to walk dragging His cross of victory through the jeering crowds and insults that would have been shouted and spitted at Him.
We finished the walk with a coffee in a wonderful shop overlooking Blackburn cathedral. Changing shoes to clean ones so we didn’t dirty the cathedral for the special service.
Jesus finished His walk by being nailed to a cross and forced to watch his only possessions, his cloths, being torn apart and gambled for, before more insults and jeers.
On the way back through town with the cross on my back we endured a few funny looks and uncomfortable stares, as we journeyed home to join in a meal with friends and fellow Christians.
In his final moments on the cross He endured insults from one of the other victims and the feeling of complete loneliness to be sealed in a tomb.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your immense sacrifice for every one of us. Some days we don’t seem to want your love as we sin when we are weak. Give us the strength to walk your path so that we can endure the pain of hardships that this life might throw at us, and when those people and thrown to us to help us in our next steps let us be thankful that you have directed them to do this, and repay them with love.