A LENTEN FRIDAY

There are 26 more days to go . . .

Purple Banner 26

. . . on this 26th day of February.

I’ll bet those numbers don’t come together very often.

Every Friday is special for a Christian.   It’s a day set aside to pause and to remember that it was on a Friday that Jesus was crucified.  Fridays in Lent give us cause to think a little more deeply.

A Friday in Lent is an opportunity for us, then,  to understand the crucifixion of Christ.  As St. Paul says to his friends in Corinth:  “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”     (That was said after the cross,  after the Resurrection,  after the Ascension . . .we don’t ever forget the crucifixion.)

Jesus in garden

So on that Friday that we are remembering today, that 24-hour last day included the Agony in the Garden, and all that implies:   a good and holy God confronting internally, in Himself, in His human nature,  the full horror and corruption of sinful human beings.  “He bore our sins. . . .”    “He became a curse, for us.”

And then,  the heavy burden of carrying that weight —

Jesus carrying cross

Unbearable, unimaginable spiritual weight, and now it’s physical.

When we see a picture like this, it’s just one moment along the way, it is still; no one is moving.    But really, along this via dolorosa Jesus is slowly moving forward, and the soldiers are moving, and the crowds, . . . moving ever closer to Mt. Calvary.  We can look down on that narrow street and feel the forward movement.

When we “do”  the Stations of the Cross,  we meditate on Simon,  the man from Africa,  who helped Jesus carry the cross,  lifting up His burden ever so slightly.

We are to put ourselves in that scene,  and when I do,  I know He is carrying the weight of my sins and impurities and indifferences —    I’m not helping to ease His burden,  I’m standing ON His cross. . . and so He’s carrying me along too.

Jesus on the cross

And then He is there on His cross,  burdened with our cares and faults and sins.    He is weighted down not so much with gravity,  but with the sins and sorrows of the world.

This weightiness.  This burden.

If  we can take these Friday hours and allow a thought to seep in,  there is a lesson there as we see Him take on such a heavy load.

We know a Christian life is to be lived in imitation of Jesus,  our Lord and Savior.  We know that.    We are to take up our crosses . . . and follow Him . . .  whatever our “crosses”  will be.

But there He is,  bearing the heavy  consequences of our sin.   He is showing us that we must bear the sorrows of each other;   share the burden of the effects of this sinful, Fallen world;   we must lighten the load of our neighbor.     “Bear ye one another’s burdens,”  He would say.

He bore the weight of our sin;  we can help Him bear that weight.

But it’s not just a “pretty story,”   an “interesting insight.     As the Cross is physically real,  as the effect of the Cross is spiritually real,  so  the Power that comes from  Christ,  crucified,  died,  and risen,  is real.

We are not left as “orphans,”  He promised.   What would please Him for us to do He gives us the actual  power to do.   A person who is “in  Christ”  is a new creation, with new power.

We can do this.

Follow Christ on the via dolorosa,  the sorrowful pathway, on Fridays.  Lent reminds us of this.

And if you like to meditate with music,  go to YouTube and look up “Via dolorosa”   —  try the one sung by Sandy Patti.

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