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  • Sarah Raad

Bargains

Updated: Jun 13, 2021

Christ in perfect humility gave away His RIGHTFUL pride to me… What a terrible bargain that was for Him… What a wonderful windfall that was for me…

Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross (Josef Piens Cooreman)

I feel – and have felt for a very long time now – that I really should have scrapped the finance accounting and law that I studied at university all those years ago, and instead, I should have studied marketing sales or psychology. After all, these days I teach, and while it is nice to understand how to do my own bookkeeping, bookkeeping is the least of my concerns these days because these days I spend most of my time negotiating….


I negotiate with my beautiful husband all the time. Most husbands and wives will tell a similar story. We negotiate about housework, our jobs, childcare duties, extended families, shopping and even what we are going to watch on television. This is not to say that we are trying to shift work from one of us to another; rather this is our way of working and playing on the team that is our family. Anyone who has been part of a successful team will tell you that communication and negotiations are the most important part of the success of the team.


I negotiate with my children all the time too. They are growing older and establishing their own boundaries and personalities and opinions and points of view. We negotiate about what is acceptable and unacceptable in our home, which ranges from negotiations about the ways that we communicate with each other, to what we can eat for dinner, to which sports we can participate in on the weekends, or how we will use the internet at home. In fact, sadly for me, the negotiations are only getting more intense, and more complex as the children grow older.


I negotiate with tutors and students and parents at my work all the time! Times need to be rescheduled, students need to be convinced to get their work done (and listen to their parents), tutors need to be convinced that they follow the rules and behave professionally, even though many of them are juggling multiple priorities for the first time in their lives.


A lot of time, patience and energy goes into negotiations. It can be quite exhausting, and in fact, after all those negotiations, it is very common for me to come out on the bad end of the bargain…


I was reflecting on this today – this lifetime of negotiation, the juggling of priories, the bargains that I made in my life – and while I was thinking of all these exchanges, I started to think of Christ.

It was in reflecting on my inadequacy as a negotiator that my mind turned to thoughts of the Passion of Christ – or more importantly, to thoughts of His long walk to Calvary…

That walk would have taken Christ over an hour and a half to walk while carrying his Cross. It was a difficult walk. He was tired, flogged, beaten. He was bearing a heavy burden. He was sick at heart for the offences against God that He was witnessing as He endured His Passion. And He was being tempted by the Evil One along the way. I was there on that walk – my sins were on His holy heart – and He did not despair of me, He walked on for love of me…


Today, I feel so suddenly that this walk of Christ was not only for our salvation, though that was its primary purpose. That walk was to teach me something. Perhaps it was to teach you too… After all, Christ could have easily died in a private manner having suffered as greatly as He suffered on the Road to Calvary – and there are as many terrible ways to die as there are imaginations that have walked the earth.


But Christ chose not to die in private. His was a public death...

And there are NO COINCIDENCES. EVERYTHING that happened during His Passion was for me, and it was for you too!

Think about it…


Why did Christ fall, not once, but three times? So that we would know that failure should not stop us from fulfilling the will of God. Why did Christ require Simon of Cyrene to help Him to carry His Cross? He is GOD… KING OF THE UNIVERSE… He brought people back from the dead and healed the sick and cast out demons… He was a CARPENTER… and in the end He was too weak to carry a piece of timber? He needed help to carry His Cross to show us something. But what did He reveal? Christ showed us that we will need help on this journey to God, that we will need others to help us practically, and also spiritually too – “no man is an Island…” as the old song goes…


What Christ’s death really did was show us humility… True and utterly perfect humility.


For what is humility other than giving our rightful pride away to another?


When we humble ourselves, we allow another to think say and act as though they are better than we are. When we are humble, we are silent when others imply that they have the answers and we do not. When we humble ourselves, we give our rightful pride to the other and allow them to advertise it as rightfully theirs instead of holding it up as rightfully ours.


When Christ was walking to Calvary – though He could have chosen to be proud, He instead chose to be humble. Instead of showing us what He could achieve as GOD HIMSELF by carrying the Cross Himself, he allowed Simon of Cyrene – a man who was only a passer-by and who was an unwilling passer-by at that – to carry His Cross.


And why did Christ accept this terrible INDIGNITY? Why did GOD who created the UNIVERSE accept the unwilling help of a passer-by who was so far inferior to Him that he was not worthy of touching the hem of His cloak? Why? Why does He accept my sacrifices, when they are the pathetic result of the very small efforts of a very small child? Why?


For love of Simon. That is why. For love of me. That is why.

Christ humbly gave His rightful pride to Simon of Cyrene so that Simon would have it instead. For the rest of his life – and for all eternity – Simon of Cyrene could now proclaim… I carried the Cross of the Son of Man! I carried it! It was me!

Do you see how the rightful pride of God was traded away to the Cyrene? Do you see the HUMILITY in this exchange?


Do you see Now – because of the perfect humility of God Simon the Cyrene can be proud? It is like a mum allowing her toddler to stir the cake mix and allowing the toddler to say, I made the cake…


Now, Simon carries the honour of being the bearer to Christ’s Cross for all eternity.


You see, we do not HAVE to suffer. Christ allows it. For us…


That way, we – like the Cyrene – are part of an exchange with God. We receive His RIGHTFUL PRIDE in exchange for His HOLY HUMILITY. Through the suffering ALLOWED to us, God gives us the opportunity to declare ourselves as bearers of Christ’s Cross for all eternity…


For it was by His death, that Christ taught us how to live. For, He fell down without excuse, and He got back up without comment. And He did this – in the end – walking BEHIND the Cyrene, who carried His Cross. He did that. He, who is Creator of the Universe and King of Endless Glory.


And in that moment, when the Cyrene handed back the Cross to Christ at the end of the walk, Our Blessed Lord – King of the Universe – turned his beaten, bloodied, tired, abused, sinless, holy, perfect beautiful face to Simon, and said… “Thank you”… with all the infinite love that is in His heart.


Oh, to hear my Beloved say such words to me. Such a sound would be worth all the suffering in the world…


What a terrible bargain that was for the Son of God, to give away His pride to one such as me! What a wonderful windfall for me…


What terrible love it is that He bears for me. What terrible, terrible love.


Oh, my Lord and my God…


How sorry I am… How proud… How sorry…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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