Monday, March 30, 2015
Meditation on the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, for Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion, based on Mark 14-15
See Jesus. Traveling dusty roads to Jerusalem, fully aware of what lies ahead. See Him mount the donkey, receive the praise and joy fit for a king. A new hero! One who can save us! But did they really know what they were asking for? See a beautiful act of worship, done to Jesus—a woman pours rich perfume, anointing His feet. Scolded and ridiculed. But acknowledged and appreciated by Jesus. See His Last Supper with His disciples. A new covenant established in His blood. The cross was very near. See the trouble brewing—disciples scattering, fear overtaking each one, betrayal on the lips of one, denial on the lips of another. Arrest. Mockery, lies, a sham trial. See Jesus. He makes no protest. A lamb goes uncomplaining forth, the Lamb of God, in the hands of sinners, carrying the sins of the world away. Thankless sinners, blind to their rescue, blind to their Savior.
With none to stand in the way, none to speak for justice, the hatred gives way to aggression. Abuse, names, laughter. Mocked as king, traded for a murderer, sentenced to the cross. See Jesus. Why is He standing there? So forsaken, so alone? So misunderstood, so wounded. He stands there for you. For me. See Him stumble under the weight of the cross, and see Him affixed there. For you, for me. Do you see yourself? Do you see the price our sins have earned? Do we pass that cross, not noticing, not caring what happened there, not sorry for our sins?
The love of no ordinary man or woman works this way. To forgive His enemies, to look back at those who hated Him—looking back with eyes of deep compassion—piercing us with the knowledge that He loves us! He bears all this suffering gladly—since it means that He can heal your sin. Since it means you will be forgiven. Since it means He can change your heart, and make an enemy of God become His friend—to make from a coward and a sinner, a disciple, a faithful follower. See this Jesus. He is here for you. For me. The Son of Man, the promised Savior. Showing the greatest love and self-sacrifice, and showing that the worst hatred and sin cannot extinguish the goodness of God. Sin and death were at war with righteousness and life. And we know the winner. He’s in the fight for us. “See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down!...Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. Believe the good news that Jesus dies and lives again for you! Amen.