He who hung the earth upon the waters: today he is hung upon the cross.
Last night after the Maundy Thursday service, Husband and I watched The Passion of Christ. We’ve watched Mel Gibson’s haunting portrayal of Christ’s last day on Earth before and, like reading the Gospel accounts, I see something new every time.
My eyes still puffy, last night nearly did me in watching from Mary’s perspective. Perhaps emanating from the two years I spent at Catholic school, I have a bonafide soft spot for the Mother of God. Usually my empathy for Mary percolates during Advent, spilling forth at Christmas. I’ve been pregnant five separate Christmases and embracing Mary’s condition as the mother of the fully human Christ is something I can wrap my head around. It’s the wonderment of Mary’s ability to know she was the mother of the fully divine son of God that begins the paschal mystery for me.
Fully human. Fully divine.
Two centuries ago, a suffering we will never know culminated at 3:00 pm on a tree. With his mother Mary at his beaten, bloodied feet, Christ calls out “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23: 46 and in the Gospel of John, “It is finished.” And then came death on the cross. Prophecy fulfilled. God’s word and promise upheld and true.
Good Friday is hard. A few years ago at one of the Little’s pre-schools, a decision was made not to go into “too much detail” about Good Friday for fear it would scare the children. My heart broke in a hundred pieces and I sat down that very afternoon and told my, then two and three year old, children about Jesus dying on the cross. Of course, they didn’t understand it at the time, but the story must be told. No matter how much we want to, you can’t skip the cross and go straight to the empty tomb!
Good Friday is hard. But it’s not the end of the story. We go through the dark hour of the cross to get to the resurrection. We go through the Son to get to the Father. And the end of the story is the glorious promise of salvation and life everlasting.
Friends, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.”
In the end, He is Risen. He is risen indeed!