Cross Trauma

Cross Trauma

On September 11th, 2001 we caught a glimpse of evil. Nearly 3,000 souls were sent to the next life after the horrific attacks.

I attempted to encapsulate a lesson to my youth group today on this topic, and I feel some thoughts are worth sharing.

The biggest point of the attacks is that evil is out there. It exists and it breeds a type of hate that results in attacks like this. As humans, we are aware of this evil almost from birth. We have all grown up with fairy-tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We don’t realize it, but crimes like breaking and entering and stealing go down in these tales. On the other hand you have a woman living with seven men and a demon-wolf that eats people.

An article in Christianity Today cited psychologist Bruno Brettleheim who warned us that watered-down children’s tales don’t really make a difference because children still have these dark bad dreams. We all know that the wild things are out there.

It’s kind of like terrorism in a way. It (terrorism) will manifest in an attack like 9/11 at times. However, terrorism is also in danger of becoming an ever-present boogeyman always lurking around the next corner. We must be aware yet not let it consume our lives.

Most importantly, the cross was a moment when it appeared that evil triumphed for a time. Right after declaring Peter’s statement to be the foundation what would later be called the Christian church, Jesus warned Peter that his death was coming:

Matthew 16:21-24

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

I don’t know about you, but I read of Peter’s denial and that look that Jesus must have given him in Luke 22:60-61 and my first emotion is frustration. Peter why don’t you get it! You walked with Christ, dude! Then I realize that, just like 9/11, this event would leave me as lost as Peter and the other disciples!

But Jesus pushes the cross trauma on Peter.

John 21:15-22

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

We will be stronger in the end when we face it with Jesus.

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