“When I am lifted up…”

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart(Hebrews 12:1-3)

We gaze on Him who was lifted up on the cross for our sins. Our focus is on Jesus. St. Basil says, ” There is one death for the world, and one resurrection from the dead”
There is no one to compare with Jesus and His sacrifice that He underwent on behalf of humanity to save us from sin and restore us back to the freedom of the children of God. This Jesus walked in flesh and blood upon this planet earth, suffered, died and rose again. However one might attempt to claim the mere humanity of Jesus, we cannot forget that He is also the son of God who came down that we might have life and life in its abundance. Yes, our eyes are indeed fixed on the son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us.
In our own times C.S. Lewis’ portrayal of Azlan and its rendition in the movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia” is very evocative of the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of humanity. As one review succinctly puts it, “…the children’s arrival in Narnia had long since been a matter of prophesy, heralding the arrival of a King who would restore the true nature of the land and “save” it’s inhabitants from the bonds of enslavement. It’s not hard to see the parallels here between Azlan and the prophesied arrival of Christ. Similarly Azlan willingly offers himself as a sacrifice to save the life of Edmund, whose character obviously represents not only Judas Iscariot, but the weakness and fallibility of mankind. Much like Christ, Azlan delivers himself into the hands of his enemy of his own volition, in order that he might be sacrificed to “save” Edmund as well as his followers. He is bound, tormented, shorn and then killed on a sacrificial altar, but is resurrected in order to protect his people from death. He also goes to the Witches castle and brings back to life hundreds of his people whom the Witch had killed by turning them to stone and ice.
The holy week, is a reminder of what Christ did for us: He died for us while we were yet sinners, redeeming us from sin and shame. Liturgically, the Holy week brings us this opportunity to realize our sinfulness and reconcile ourselves with God through the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will continue to celebrate and proclaim His salvific acts in the Liturgy, until His second coming. Just as the letter to the Hebrews invites us, “so let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”