Holiness: Sacrifice

Mark 8:31-38

Imagine being crucified. Imagine, first of all, the physical torture. Brutal hands forcing your body into a contorted shape. Hammer and nails piercing whole frontiers of agony in hand and foot. Sagging lungs dragging your thorax down, so that every breath is an increasing effort, a fight against suffocation. Total exposure—with no possibility of scratching an itch or swatting a lingering insect.

Imagine the social degradation. Carrying one’s own instrument of death, struggling to maintain any dignity at all. Then propped up in gruesome form, practically naked, at a crossroads or other public place. Regarded as a criminal, exposed to insult and abuse from any who might fancy the cheap victory of a verbal volley or target practice on a human dart board.

 

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