So I have decided to do a bible study where I will be addressing at least one bible verse each week from a feminist perspective. Today, I used verseoftheday.com to decide which verse I will be talking about. This week’s verse:
In a world full of oppression and injustice, the cross is that pain and struggle that comes from the denial of justice and the deprivation from what is right which keeps a person in a state of agony yearning for it. “Being on the cross” is the feeling that one feels when they are not able to be themselves and it is the thing that activists do not mind taking responsibility for in order to change the world for the better. Jesus is the person who represents this change and his ways (whether you believe it to be Jesus or someone else depending on your beliefs) is the path to justice, truth, peace, and content. Hence, in this verse, Jesus says, “If anyone come after me”, which means that if anyone is seeking justice, truth, peace, and content—-“he must deny himself”, which means that s/he must admit that they are not happy with their own condition today (for example, “I do not want to be this way and I do not want to live like this”)— “and take up his cross daily and follow me”, meaning that the person must take responsibility for this struggle WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF following Jesus, which means that a person must take responsibility for making a difference and bringing change in regards to that issue (or in regards to that cross).
Hence, now we can ask ourselves, how would a person feel when they are carrying that cross and following Jesus to the path of justice? I would say that a person feels angry and that a person feels fed up and that a person may also feel determined. Yet, at the same time, the person may feel marginalized and the person may feel like s/he is down and out and the person may feel like they are pushed to a dead end road with no where else to go but to fight. That is a person who may feel like it is their duty to carry that cross since it is their life and what they have been through in it and what they have experienced in it that has created that cross for them to carry.
Very often I hear that the cross is a symbol of the burdens in this world or a symbol of our own demons that we must overcome. But I am moving away from that perspective in order not to stick to this association since neither Jesus, nor any person who is good, would die by the wrong but they would die fighting against it. In addition, the feeling of harm and pain and agony, is not the feeling of wrong…but it is the feeling of wanting what is right where the more that right is missing, the more agony one feels.
Whether you are an atheist or a Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu, faith is based on the idea of justice and content. Hence, Luke 9:23 speaks about the road towards justice as being a path under which one takes a responsibility towards making a change.