Back to Men of Integrity Men of Integrity Issue: Resistance Training
Log In | My Account | Help

Home > Fuel Your Faith > Alone at the Cross

Alone at the Cross
Winn Collier
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Average rating: Not Rated [ see ratings/comments ]

Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
—John 19:16-18

The Cross, with its violence and repulsive evil, grieves us. We revolt at the injustice of the entire sham, an innocent man with such a pure heart subjected to torture and humiliation while powerful men schemed and plotted. However, as much as the gore and the malfeasance disturb me, Jesus's utter aloneness disturbs me even more. As Jesus stumbled along that cobblestone road, his bloodied back bore the weight of this wooden cross—a cross he carried all by himself. The Cross, Jesus understood, was where he would face the vilest horrors: abandonment and isolation.

Hours previous, Jesus prayed alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, pleading with the Father while his companions snoozed. In the hours to come, one of his dearest friends would vehemently insist that he didn't even know Jesus's name. Even as Jesus hung between two thieves, neither could appreciate what Jesus endured. Of course, grieving souls will tell you that loneliness arrives even when surrounded by people. At the end, Jesus's mournful words give voice to his heartache. Jesus cried out for a Father who seemed to have disappeared (Matt. 27:46). Lent is a time when we enter our lonely places, into the questions that isolate us, into the shames and addictions that are hidden to others' eyes. In Lent, we take up the cross that only we can bear and, with Jesus, we step into the narrow corner where we fear we may be finally undone.

When we arrive in that lonely place, we make a startling discovery: Jesus is there. Jesus carried his cross alone and Jesus died alone so that we will never have to suffer such heavy solitude. Jesus experienced a kind of aloneness that we never will. We need not fear the dark, solitary spaces; God is there.

Winn Collier pastors All Souls Charlottesville, Virginia, is the author of Let God: Spiritual Conversations with François Fénelon, a contributing writer for, and blogs at This article is adapted with permission from his original article "The Lonely Cross" at All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures quoted are taken from the New Living Translation.

Special Offer: Free Trial Issue

Yes!, send me a free trial issue of Men of Integrity.

If I like it, I'll pay just $19.95 and get five more bimonthly issues (a full year in all), plus complete web access. If not, I'll simply return my bill marked "cancel", owe nothing and keep my free trial issue.

Subscribe to Men of Integrity
Street Address
Email Address

Churches-order in bulk | Canadian Orders | Give a Gift

Sign up for our free newsletter

Join the Conversation

Average User Rating: Not rated

No comments

Use your Men of Integrity login to easily comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe, or on public pages, register for a free account.

Log In OR Subscribe OR Register


Facebook  Twitter  Google +  

Featured Items