Jesus is Given His Cross
In life, we are all given crosses to carry, challenges to face, and difficulties to overcome. Some of these crosses are self-imposed, but many times, they are not.
As we reflect on Jesus being given his cross to carry, we must recognize not only the crosses that we bear, but also our participation in placing crosses on the backs of others. Everyday, we make economic, social, and political choices that force others to bear crosses of oppression, suffering, and exploitation. Everyday, we make choices not to act, choosing to passively participate in systems that denigrate individuals’ dignity, ignore their humanity, and mock their sense of self worth.
In this piece, the cross is the central focus. Above the cross are the forces—both personal and structural—that crucify the most vulnerable in society. These forces of oppression—and our participation in them—push the crowns of thorns onto the heads of many, including those who are alternatively documented in the United States and those who are forced to leave their homes to migrate to new cities and countries for economic opportunity.
However, this piece also acknowledges that although humanity is broken, it is not irreparable. Below the cross, images of hope, community, and love lift the cross, reminding us that as individuals and communities, we have the power to not only impose crosses on others, but also to remove crosses.
What crosses do you bear? In what ways do you identify with Jesus in these scriptures?
In what ways do you identify with the soldiers? Where do you locate yourself in this piece?
Grace Commons Community
Monica J. Brown
Jhonathan F. Gómez
Scripture related to this station is in the comments of this post.
This piece was made in 2007 and was featured in an earlier Stations of the Cross series.
30″ x 24″ Collage on canvas board