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Thursday, 29 November 2018 07:00

Jesus' cross must be real because I have seen photos

 CRUCIFIX

From time to time, we all need to be encouraged to turn again to the scriptures - maybe this story is what you need to read today to deepen in  the scriptures in your own journey. 

One of my regular ministries is as a chaplain in a youth justice centre in Melbourne. There are often profound moments, and recently I was privileged to be present with a group of young men who were interested in learning more about the bible. As I entered their unit with bibles for a few who had requested them, many others came over asking if they could have one as well. As I handed them around, they began to sit around with Jwan (a volunteer) and I asking many questions.

One young man, Billy, (not his real name) was flicking through the bible, and then looked down at the rosary beads he was wearing around his neck. He said, ‘is this real, did it really happen or is it made up?’ I shared with him that it is our faith that Jesus really died on the cross because he loves us, and that it certainly is not a made-up story. Another young man then interjected saying, ‘well it must have happened and be real because I have seen photos of it’.

I gently explained that Jesus’ crucifixion took place over 2000 years ago, and suggested there were probably not cameras around then, but that the reason there are the photos he is referring to is because it has made such a difference to people’s lives that they want to share it with others. Wetalked about where they could read about this in the bible.

Meanwhile, Jwan was encouraging some other young men who were largely unfamiliar with the bible by helping them to mark some stories they might like to read first.

The gift of this time for me was their beautiful openness to encountering Jesus in the scriptures, yet is also challenged me to go deeper into the scriptures myself, for there is always more to discover.

Mel Edwards