Jesus died on a cross. But what if Jesus had died differently? Then, instead of crosses, Christians might wear little nooses. Under different circumstances, we might be celebrating the Feast of the Holy Electric Chair, or the Exultation of the Lethal-Injection Syringe. These images unsettle us, but we are comfortable with the idea of Jesus’ cross. However, whenever we find ourselves complaining, we are feeling the scandal of the cross.
We will naturally dislike it when life is hard on us, but “do not forget the works of the Lord.” Jesus’ crucifixion, despite its pain, injustice, and seeming futility, was the means for His glory and for our salvation. With Christ we become invincible, because even our suffering profits us. So when unavoidable crosses come, patiently bear them and use them as a powerful offering to God.