This is the time of year when old sore spots come to the surface. Today I have been thinking a lot about my brother who died of cancer about 12 years ago – today lends itself to grief – and rightly so. Today about 3pm our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died of torture. Today his loving voice and laughing eyes ceased to be. Today we lose the One who loves us more than we can ask or imagine. It’s a rough day.
And Why? Why is a big question today too –
· Why did this day happen? I don’t know. No one else does either – not really – only God knows. I was raised with the idea that Jesus Christ died on the cross for us – because we are sinners. I think that is part of the story. I believe that Jesus did not HAVE to die this way – that there are any number of other ways God could have redeemed us. However, because Jesus did die this way, we cannot ever think of any situation where we could find ourselves as human beings that Jesus Christ cannot understand – or find unworthy – or unlovable. And that’s the crux of the human condition isn’t it? We wonder if we are unlovable at the core of our being. I believe that the cross, as a shameful instrument of torture, shows us that Jesus Christ is with us no matter where we find ourselves – no matter what we’ve gotten ourselves into – no matter what our own eventual manner of death – Jesus has already been there and is there to walk with us through it. God knows the grief of dying that way – God knows the grief of losing a child – God is there with us.
· Why do we intentionally put ourselves through this every year? The birth narrative does not have the same meaning for us without this day. Easter would not be as joyous without the sorrow of today.
I am not going to leave you with a comforting thought to go away with tonight. I am going to ask you instead to sit with your grief – sit in it for the next 24 hours – that is the purpose of remembering – in poking at our own grief, we find healing – in taking it apart and examining it, we re-member and put it back together differently. As you go through it, ponder a life without hope, without reassurance, without Divine love… where we would be without Jesus’ divine death. I pray for God to bless our journeys in grief. Amen.