STAYING CLOSE TO GOD
Taking the place of Jesus, I braced myself for the slaps to follow, to be flogged, kicked, pushed and thrown about like a criminal. My set mates were the soldiers, people well known to me for six years now. I imagined them doing all those horrible things to me and spitting at me as well. The feeling was terrible. Merely thinking about carrying my cross over the rough stretch of our streets under the hot sun was tormenting. I may not have gone through what Jesus experienced over two thousand years ago but from my limited experience it was truly a dark day in the history of the salvation of our souls. It was dehumanizing what Jesus went through for my sake. If I could describe my experience this way, I wonder how it was for Jesus who was slapped, spat at, flogged, mocked, derided, beaten and crucified for real.
Everyone is familiar with the Jesus story. He died on the cross for our sake, crucified as a final sacrifice for the salvation of humankind. What have I done with this immense knowledge besides telling it every time? Have I learnt to carry my cross, adapted to being abandoned by my closest friends, used to being surrounded by people who would inflict pain on me given the opportunity? I have heard it said that each time I sin, I nail Jesus right back to the cross. How many times should I nail Jesus to the cross before I change my attitudes? One thing is for sure: the struggle to avoid sin is a daily carrying of the cross, but from my experience, I can stay close to God through my carrying that same cross. Arinzechukwu, EZEANYA. Class of 2018