January 24, 2021

Stations of the Cross: The Twelfth Station

A Series for Holy Week.
Thanks to Jeff Dunn for leading us in these meditations.

Jesus dies on the cross


By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.

Luke 23: 44-46 NLT

Jesus died. The Son of God, our Creator, died. He did not swoon. He did not faint. You cannot even pin the “Well, he was God after all, so he didn’t die like real people die” label on him. Jesus died. It was over. The loss of blood, the physical torture before and on the cross, the unimaginable weight of carrying the sins of all of mankind past, present and future brought him to the end of his life.

There is an incredible scene in the classic movie Ben Hur where Judah Ben Hur’s mother and sister, Miriam and Tirzah, have fled to the shelter of a cave after witnessing the crucifixion. Darkness has descended on the land and a storm is raging. Tirzah is a leper, her hands and face are marked by leprous sores. We see in a lightning flash the hand of Jesus, nailed to the cross, dead. In another flash we see Tirzah’s hand, totally healed of the leprosy. Jesus’ dead hand, Tirzah’s hand brought to life. One could not happen without the other. Jesus’ death, our life. For us to have real, total life, Jesus had to suffer a real, total death.

He died. Death comes for all, even God.

Meditate on the blood that flowed from the hands, the feet, the forehead, the face, the pores of Jesus. Is “blood” simply a metaphor for something meaning “life-giving,” or is Jesus’ blood an actual, physical “something” we must let touch us, stain us, so that we can be made free?

And it’s not just a sign or a sacrament.
It’s not just a metaphor for love.
The blood is real and it’s not just a symbol of your faith.

Sara Groves, Awakening

When they took down the cross from that dark hillside
The blood on their hands was the blood from his side
That’s the way that it works, That’s the way it must be.
You gotta let His blood stain you of you want to get free.

Don Chaffer, If You Want To Get Free

Jesus, how could you die? You are the Creator and Sustainer of life. You told us that you yourself are the way, the truth, and the life. So how is it that Life Himself can die? We don’t understand this, Jesus. We thought you were here to make things new, make things right. But in the end, you died just like everyone, and you left us feeling totally empty. How do we go on from here?

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

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