The Lord’s sacrifice on the cross brought mainly freedom
The cross is the main action of our Lord. It actively reveals to us the love of God. It’s an act of God. God doesn’t only speak words, nor does He do deeds which are easy for him. On the cross, God actively reveals to us his love for us, his concern for us. So, if we venerate the cross, if we love God, we are called to show this actively: Do a specific deed of love, of patience, of humility, of repentance, of prayer. Show your faith by living accordingly.
You have to experience pain to stop sin. This is how you can make the most of the fruit which stems from the cross of Christ. The Lord’s sacrifice on the cross brought mainly freedom. What freedom though? Christ through his death frees man from his own self, from self righteousness. He frees man from man.
The Lord experienced crucifixion as a human being. There, on the cross, the Lord was wounded, experienced martyrdrom and in torment, breathed his last as his holy blood was shed. Christ was in pain, but through all this agony springs the salvation of man, springs joy. Because whatever God does, he does it so that man has gladness of heart, great happiness rejoicing. Where we see the cross, we also see basil and flowers. The Cross is neither plain nor gloomy, but it’s got something sweet, something joyful.
The Cross has not only to do with sufferings and tribulations; It’s about denying yourself. It’s not about doing what you wish to do, no matter how just or right this may seem, but it’s about what God wants. The more you crucify yourself and grieve and suffer to stop sin, the more you surface to joy; you break free from the chains of selfhood, you rejoice. The more you avoid grief, suffering and being crucified, the more miserable you feel.
More often than not our whole spirituality and relation to Christ is exploited through asking Him not to let us bear a cross, not to deny our ego. We are asking that is, to get rid of what’s putting us in a tight corner.
Transcribed talks by Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
From: Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross