The second day
was a day when you were gone.
No gospels written then
The certainty of victory concealed
The second day
smelt of bloodshed
and dirty linen used to wash thy torn pure form
lay soaking in a bowl.
The second day
we were bereft and weeping.
No comforter then.
I turned to a friend for a hug and a smile
but saw only pain.
The second day
and you loved us too much
to leave us there
in the bleak darkness
hopeless and lost
for more than a day.
oops – forgot to post yesterday, so two offerings today. Here we are, Good Friday, remembering the darkest of days. We know the events through the bible and with hindsight. I cannot imagine how the mother of Jesus, or his friends felt at the crucifixion, not knowing what would follow.
I watched a much loved sister die over a relatively short period of time a few years ago. Sitting at her bedside, watching her lovely face grow thinner, seeing her slipping away in front of my eyes, was agonising. Yet I kept thinking about Mary, watching Jesus die before her eyes, an unimaginably more painful death with no pain relief, no nurses, and so alone.
He would have been naked, exposed, his skin gouged, his face beaten…publicly derided and humiliated. I cannot imagine watching that happen to a much loved son, to someone you loved more that yourself.
Mary watched and wept
as the torture proceeded
not knowing that each and every
savage, painful moment
drew You closer to home
to the place where
tears are tenderly wiped away
and glory is inhaled with every breath.
Every step on the highway to death
forged a path to a life that will never perish.
And when deepest blackness
darkened the sky
and utter bleakness
stole Your soul
that was the last grasp of evil’s fingers upon You.
Never again can the tentacles of death
trap those in whom Your Spirit inhabits.
For we are free
and more alive than we will ever know
even while we die.
I will fear no evil. For the Good Shepherd is by my side.
Father forgive them, they know not what they do
The only certainty more sure
than our past, present and future
to the killers.
Here Jesus prayed.
Facing the unknown, when you are about to approach something difficult, be it a parting, a difficult journey, or a course of unpleasant medical treatment, is difficult. It would be much harder to face these same things, whilst knowing fully what they would entail. Which of us has not said at some time ‘if I knew this would happen, I wouldn’t come this way’.
I believe Jesus knew what lay ahead. He knew that betrayal, torment, agony and death were coming. For the person of God to ‘become sin’ – this too, lay ahead, and is a darkness beyond our understanding, yet he walked into that too, with eyes open. Jesus knew what would happen, why else would he pray, ‘If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me.’
Is there anything on this earth that can console a person in such grief, facing the loss of body, soul and spirit? Perhaps only not to face it alone. Yet that was the point at which Jesus’s friends slept. Those same friends whom he had nurtured, taught and loved for 3 years. those same friends would flee, leaving him to face the terror alone.
How easily the word Forgiveness trips off my tongue. Yet as I consider the depth of the betrayal of Jesus and the agony of the cross, the grace of His quiet forgiveness strikes me anew. How quick I am to take offence if I feel slightly ignored or badly treated by people I don’t know, let alone by friends. Yet He foreknew what would happen, and did not forbid Judas to come to the last supper or turn away from the fake kiss.
With Easter almost upon us, I plan to put something up daily regarding the week on the Passion of Christ. Please ignore the timeline – like the bible, I will jump around the timeline a bit.
Today reflecting on people Jesus loved. Mary, the disciples, and us.
When and where is there joy?
When He holds the most important place
the Highest place
the innermost throne
of my heart
and in my life.
He loves to dwell in the inner sanctuary
that too often he occupies alone
whilst waiting for me.
In that place is
A different experience each day.
and so it goes on…
I could write a Thesaurus and it would never say enough.
For the words of what is found in that place
march off the page to eternity.
My fickle heart - you have an enemy who shakes to see you go there.
Not merely to pass through paying lip service to my King
But to sit. To gaze. To dwell.
Therein my joy. My love. My heart.
Were we so shocked and traumatised
that we did not believe
that you meant what you said
when you told us
this temple will be raised just 3 days after it has been destroyed?
Were we so blind
that we did not see you
by our side
until you broke the bread and gave it to us?
Were our minds so dull
that all the prophecies meant nothing
until you patiently unpacked them?
Were our hearts so cold that we did not know you walked with us
until so much later?
Am I so tossed by life that your promises and life itself seem empty?
Am I so blind that I do not see you in every sky, tree or insect I pass?
Am I so deaf that I do not hear your voice in the wind and the word?
Is my heart so cold that I do not feel you by my side?
Every. Single. Day.
I believe. Forgive my unbelief.