Illumined Path: Crucified Together With Him

From “The Word of the Cross,” a CD lecture by Fr. Thomas Hopko:

Illumined PathThere’s just no way to be the disciple of Jesus without taking up our cross. If he is crucified, we have to be crucified. St. Paul uses that expression: “co-crucified”: “We must be co-crucified together with him.” Co-crucified. St. Paul loves that term, “co-.” In Greek, the prefix “syn.” We co-suffer with him. We co-reject with him. We co-die with him. We are co-crucified with him. Then we are co-rising with him. We are co-glorified with him. We are co-reigning with him. But it’s all in and with him.

If this is the central act of his life, then it has to be the central act of our life, and there’s no way around it. As sometimes my students say, “That’s the bad news of the good news.” The good news is that God has revealed himself to us, raised us up, forgiven us, ascended into heaven, glorified us, given us eternal life, forgave every sin; where sin abounds, grace super-abounds, and no rock, nothing ridiculous, no horrible sin is more than the grace of God. God can forgive everything. That’s the good news. The “bad news” is—and I put that in quotes, of course; it’s only rhetoric—that the way the good news gets enacted is through the Cross—and no other way.

Illumined Path, providing reflections on finding Christ in our everyday lives, is a ministry of St. Elia the Prophet Orthodox Christian Church in Akron, Ohio.