Bearing the cross as solidarity

In Mk 8:34, Jesus tell his disciples, “τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἀκολουθεῖν ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι.” In Discipleship, Bonhoeffer beautifully draws out the implications of this verse for believers’ imitation of Christ (though not more beautifully than 1 Pet 2:21-24). However, I don’t think I’ve ever considered how 8:34 reads differently in light of 8:38: “ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν ἐπαισχυνθῇ με καὶ τοὺς ἐμοὺς λόγους ἐν τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ τῇ μοιχαλίδι καὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ καὶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπαισχυνθήσεται αὐτὸν ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἐν τῇ δόξῃ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀγγέλων τῶν ἁγίων.” How do we show that we aren’t ashamed of Jesus, our humiliatingly executed king? By making his humiliation our own, in an act of deepest solidarity. A final move: perhaps we should also say that when we show solidarity to the least of these, we show it to Christ as well (Mt 25:40).

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