Stations of the Cross meditation
It’s Good Friday, we read the Stations of the Cross together as a family, except our middle child whom I discovered asleep. I was disappointed, but didn’t disturb her. We read from the Lent 2012 edition from The Magnificat, what a beautiful interpretation, with Genesis references. We read it at 3:00pm this afternoon with everything off and we traded off reading each station. Then my knight read the Passion account from John and we discussed how the gospels differ. I still like Luke’s version for the story of the two thieves and the forgiveness at the last minute. Forgiveness at the last possible moment of life on this side of eternity is mercy to an amazingly inconceivable degree; only divinely instituted, taught, and expected from us. It touches me completely and gives me, this lowly sinner, hope.
As Jesus sets out on His Passion, He is not alone; he is together with His Father. Christ prays constantly, looking to His father throughout His short life, never alone. As he meets His mother, Mary, He sees the complete sorrow and helpless she is. Our sins may have been done in the darkness of our hearts, but they are revealed in the light and effects other all around us. Christ is the sacrificial lamb, pure and without sin, but for us we are not, we are as black as night and stand guilty for sins we cannot even recognize at times. When will that knowledge be widespread? When will we realize that our sins are relational, that they may be done in secret, but they hurt so many…some we do not even know? We are never alone, never.
Simon, walking along the road in the city, minding his own business, gets caught up in the passion scene for a cameo role. He accepts Christ’s cross and helps Him along his treatous journey to Golgotha. We don’t hear how long he carries Christ’s cross, but we know that he does. Who is Simon? Why was he chosen to do this task that goes down in salvation history? An interesting spin on this is that Simon doesn’t carry a basket of fruit for an old lady across the street, he isn’t asked to run a message to another, it’s not too plain a thing at all. Simon is asked to help Christ…..THE Christ. Does he know this and still he says yes. He stops his own daily life for another, for Christ! So this small effort, this small deed put upon his becomes a forever incident. Not to ever be an insignificant moment.
Oh Veronica! I have longed to write about her! Her moment in salvation history touches me to the core! Where did she come from? She knew him and she loved him and wanted to care for him. I feel for her and feel the energy of her story. I don’t know if she really existed or whether this instance really happened, but if I were there, it would have happened! I would have been so overwhelmed that I would push through the crowds and shove soldiers aside to tend to Him. There are injustices everywhere, many that cannot be prevented, and some we dare not approach, we have a complacent nature, don’t we? Only a precious few dare take a stand and be noticed. This is the story of Veronica, she dared. She dared to love, show faith, and allegiance in the name of truth and justice!
Speaking of love, what kind of emotion are we talking about here? Love, God’s gift to man apart from all other creation, is not conditional, and here is the perfect and inconceivable example of it. There is no other way to explain or demonstrate perfect unconditional love that sacrificing the God-man, son of God the creator. If it is conditional, it isn’t really love. Love knows no set of conditions, no set of rules, no set of demands of another, does it? Did God make Jesus become human, suffer and die, to make us Love Him? Everything He did, he did out of perfect love for His children. Love for us and mercy towards us. As the creator of the universe, I find it tremendously difficult to think God needs us…he doesn’t. But he wants us, that is the difference. Praise God, He WANTS us and not needs us. Think about this for a moment, we are wanted!
When I think of this, I can’t help but think about those that have turned their backs to Him. Knowing Him and all that he has done for us throughout the history of the world, backs are turned away for Him. I find this so hard to believe. Yes, I have felt His presence in my life, heard His answers as plain as day to questions I have asked. But still, I pine for Him and His reassurance that I’m ok in His book. I truly believe in God, I believe in Christ’s passion and death, and resurrection. I firmly believe in what He did for us and why.
God WANTS us; no He doesn’t need us at all. He loves us and wants us to be with him forever. He has proven that by sending Jesus, his only begotten son, to become one of us, be persecuted by us and die. Throughout His ministry, Jesus taught lessons so perfectly, knew how to speak to us that we would have to study His words and understand them on our own terms. Only a perfection, a creator larger and out of our conception would demonstrate these things. I am in awe when I read the Bible, when I see the correlation between the old and the new testaments. It’s amazing that we have a God that loves us so much as to demonstrate it in such a way that brings us to our knees.
Tonight, I am on my knees, in prayer, in awe, in complete useless, sinful me. Thank you dear amazing Jesus, thank you God for wanting us!