And Jesus said, “If anyone would be my follower, he must click “like” and follow me.
It’s that time of the year again.
The time of the year when Facebook memes about Easter start popping up.
I was particularly taken with the meme with rather kitsch 1950s Norman Rockwell feel to it, of Jesus struggling under the weight of his cross. It felt kinda opposite to the sobering painting of that scene depicted above.
And the tag?
Not Many of You Would Help Jesus Carry His Cross. Click “Like” If You Would.
Oh for a thousand likes to click.
Or so we might think.
For as we read through Matthew’s Gospel account of the trial and crucifixion, it’s apparent that no one, not even his close friends, are keen to do that.
Simon of Cyrene – a stranger from outta town, is compelled/forced to carry the cross beam for the, by now obviously, weakened Jesus.
Everyone else who said they’d click “like?” Denying, betraying, standing at a distance.
It’s hard to know if you can get anything more inane or less committed to a cause than a “like” on Facebook, nor anything more likely to virtue signal when you do.
And it makes a mockery of the enormous command to take up our own cross, never mind Jesus’s cross amidst the baying crowds.
Besides Jesus doesn’t require us to pick up his cross. We couldn’t. It’s a solo act in which HE is the only one capable of doing what he is about to do. He alone is bearing the weight of sin and brokenness.
He alone can take the punishment of God’s righteous wrath. He was the one true Israelite left standing. The one true Adam who obeyed right to the end. For us to even contemplate that we’d pick up the cross is an affront to all of that.
Here’s what is compelling. Only he could carry it, and he did that for us, and not out of “like”, but out of love.
The call to click “like” is also a slightly sneaky self-righteous pat on the back that requires no effort, and demands to expose just who on Facebook aligns themselves with you, and who doesn’t. It’s “us” and “them” all the way down.
Yet the way each of us is required to carry our own cross depends on what it is that Jesus is calling us to die to. And I’m pretty sure for a whole bulk of us, self righteousness and virtue signalling is one of those things.
So don’t click “like” this Easter. Just thank God that Jesus did for you what you would not do and could not do, to empower you to be willing to do what he’s called you to do.