This year it's particularly meaningful to me. I listen and imagine Jesus' Friday, which includes:
- a feast with friends
- warning those expecting promotion and political wins about hardships and sorrow ahead
- fervent prayer to endure and stay the course, if there is no other route forward
- rousing sleeping followers, who fade away instead of supporting you
- betrayal by an insider ... then watching trusted friends melt away
- healing someone who's coming to take you away
- looking a best friend in the eye after he swears up and down that he's never had anything to do with you
- hearing a mob scream for your blood
- a politically-rigged trial results in a death sentence
- humiliation by religious leadership, mockery with a purple robe and thorn crown; then being struck, beaten, beard yanked out, spit upon by foreign oppressors
- needing a stranger's help to carry your load
- 3 hours of excruciating physical pain on the cross, while your mother and supportive women watch and cry
- being shamed in public, knowing that shame will be applied to your family and friends
- calling out the Psalms to focus on God's plan instead of your human desires
- letting go of human desires and life itself, to do the work of God - the work that God could do only through you
What parts of Easter speak loudest to you? What in your Passion week readings brought you to a grateful pause?
*Psalm 40:9-17; Esther 8:1-9:17; Romans 10:1-13
*When you said, "Seek My face," my heart said to you, "Your face, O Lord, I shall seek." Psalm 27:8 (NASB)
*Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in thename of God’s one and only Son. John 3:14-18 NIV
*Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” John 19:5 (NKJV)
Moravian Prayer: We look at the cross, O Christ, and see your abandoned, broken, suffering face – looking upon us only with love. May we deeply feel your gaze, making us more acutely aware of the pain in our world and your love for all. Amen.