The Holy Cross – By Father Andrew Bahhi
This week we celebrate the feast of the discovery of the Holy Cross. I pray we can be protected, blessed, and be under the protection of the cross. When you see the cross you feel safe, and not scared for yourself. When we sign the cross over ourselves and do anything with the sign of the cross, we should feel protected and blessed.
Before Christ, the sign of the cross was a sign of shame and curse, a very bad punishment, and a sign of death. And after Christ, it was something very different. After the Lord laid himself on the cross and He died, this sign became a sign of pride and honor. It became a sign of reward. This sign changed and became the sign of life, instead of the sign of death.
We should have faith this sign will protect us and give us victory over death, the curse, shame and punishment.
It cost Jesus a lot, and yet he carried this sign with joy and happiness.
When He Jesus called the people “whoever desires to come after me, let him or her deny him or herself and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24).
Go, deny yourself, which means always point to the cross to Him. And when you deny yourself, you will humble yourself and carry the cross and follow Him proudly all the days of your life. He was saying the cross is going to change all your thoughts if you carry it with all your heart. The cross will correct your life.
You may ask, “How can I benefit from the cross?” We learn in the Bible that the cross will change all the mess in your life, change all the weak points in your life, and make it strong and something you can be proud of. St. Paul, who experienced a very bad pain in his body from a thorn, was able to describe how Jesus will change all the bad things. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.”
And then St. Paul told Him “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.”
And at the end he continued, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
How can that be, when one is weak one is also strong? Because it is not what the people say about me, but what the opinion of Christ says about me.
When St. Paul says this, he was teaching us. A lot of people come to me and say, Abouna “I feel so badly, I am not worthy, I don’t know how to handle my pain.”
If you believe in the one who died for you, you are going from nothing to something very important.
If you humble yourself more and more and more for the Lord, and you say it out of humility not underestimating yourself, you will become something much bigger. Instead of zero, you will be with the ONE and become ten, hundred, thousand times more.
So, when we are in front of Jesus, we tell Him we are nothing. But when I look to the evil one, having strong faith in the cross in what Jesus did to die to save me, I know Jesus is next to me and I am strong.
And the Lord says, maybe you are nothing, but I died for you, so your value equals my value.
The more you are close to Jesus, your true value will increase.
Do you see your weakness through the cross, or do you look to the weakness itself?
If I can dig deep in my heart and look for the cross of the Christ, and through this cross I can see myself, then I will see how worthy I am.
The evil one will always tell you that you are not good. I encourage you to humble yourself when you are in the presence of the Lord. But when you are with the evil one, tell him “I am king, son and daughter of the king.” So, you can say “when I am weak, I am strong.”
I pray that by the power of the cross, by the blood that Jesus shed on the cross, we wash our sin and iniquities. When you come for the pray of confession, say “please, I want to give my life to you. I want to see myself through you. Not through my wisdom, not through my strength, but through your love who brought you from heaven to earth to die on this sign and to change the curse to blessing. And also, I want to move from this area, the area of curse and shame, to the area where I am your son. So, I can evaluate myself equal to you, because you paid your blood to save me.”
Be proud of yourself, no matter how your past was and what you have done. Come to the cross.
Learn more from Father Andrew’s sermon video here.
May 21, 2023