I was using my imagination to ponder the ancient scene; Jesus was dead. Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, dead and slaughtered and hanging on a criminal’s cross. All the hope and promise He embodied to His friends and family had drained into a pool of innocent blood at the foot of that cross.
I began to wonder, “If I was one of those who loved Him back then, how would I have responded to what I was seeing?” Just when I thought I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would have been like, I was reminded I could.
I’ve stared at a lifeless body before. I’ve felt all hope and promise for happily ever after evaporate at the onset of death. I saw my mother, ravaged with cancer, breath her last breath in my presence. The death rattle had come to warn us. I was knelt down resting my head in her lap like I used to when I was a little girl as I hummed one of her favorite worship songs and held on as she left us.
As we awaited the coroner to certify her death, I stared. I sat in my father’s chair stunned with unbelief and stared. With great intensity I fixed my gaze upon her lap and just stared. I stared at the outlines of her precious body looking for it to raise a breath again. I stared because I had banked everything on all that Jesus had said to us about His love and His power. I stared until the determination to see her raised from the dead gave me an impossible prayer to pray. In my mind there was absolutely no way she was supposed to end this way, so I stared.
I love Jesus. I love that as I am pondering His death today He was simultaneously remembering me. I love even more that He interrupted my imaginations today to prove to me I would have been one of those who had the hope that hoped beyond His death. It was alive in me at my mother’s death and it is alive in me now.
Yeah, I think He is right. I would have been one of the “crazy” ones at the cross who stared. I would have been that one in the group rude with unbelief who stared. I would have fixed my gaze upon his core and just stared. I would have stared at the outlines of His broken body looking for it to raise a breath again. I would have stared because I had banked everything on Him all that He had said to us about His love and His power. I would have stared until the determination to see Him raised from the dead gave me an impossible prayer to pray. I would have been the one who secretly believed there was absolutely no way He was supposed to end this way…
my heart would have been telling me the truth when my eyes couldn’t
I’ve had to repent this Good Friday for loving this temporal life more than the promise of the eternal life. The truth is: life continues after death, not just for those who loved God and relocated to Heaven but for those of us who remain to love God from the Earth. The death we see with our eyes is a death our hearts can hardly believe and rightly so; we were never created to experience death, remember? Happily ever after forever with God was the original idea. Making Jesus the only way out of the sin and through its death back to the Father has been the best idea.
There is life after death my friends, don’t lose your stare … Sunday is coming