So why have I waited until a Tuesday Evening in July to post this reflection? Well... you know, life happens and I kept putting it off and then I kept thinking well maybe I should wait until Good Friday comes around again... but then, a conversation with a friend earlier today caused me to reconsider.
Adding some historical perspective, for the past several centuries it has been common to pause two days out of the week (traditionally Wednesday, the night our Lord was betrayed and Friday, the day he was crucified) and think about our Lord and his suffering. Other days are dedicated to more glorious and beautiful events in His life.
But still I hesitated. I mean, most people don't want to think about Jesus suffering, it makes them sad.
Well, there must be some plot to get me to post this today because I then had another conversation with a friend about the way we avoid thinking about such a horrible, bloody and gory event. She wondered why (rightly so since we seem fine with gore and violence in much of our entertainment) and it triggered a memory.
|We are protected from seeing blood,|
it is considered bad presentation...
I suppose in societies that are still centered on agriculture they are more comfortable with seeing the blood and gore involved in everyday food preparation. I certainly remember the times we processed our own chickens on our farm. It was a bloody, smelly, feathery mess! But that is just the way it was.
So my Pastor had a point. We are protected from the site of blood in everyday real life. The movies can depict it in a surreal fashion but with more and more people being urbanized, we just don't get exposed to blood every day in real life. And since blood represents life (we cannot live without it) it is especially disturbing when we see the blood of somebody we love.
Yet I'm not sure this accounts for all of our aversion. There seems to be more to it. (Pastor Bill probably thought so as well, but alas, I cannot remember the rest of his sermon.)
Perhaps we simply are not comfortable with a God who suffers with us at all.
But our God does suffer with us. Even now. Somehow His suffering echoes in eternity and forever He is united with all human suffering, participating in it.
That being the case, it only stands to reason that we too can unite our suffering with His. Maybe this is what Paul was getting at in Colossians 1:24.
For me, when I allow that to sink in, it is the most comforting thought on earth. What is there left to fear? My God even walks through death with me.... and then conquers it for me because death cannot keep Him down!
Ahhh... see there, I get ahead of myself! That meditation is typically done on Wednesdays and Sundays. But then, there is nothing stopping any of us from meditating on all of the events of Christ's life every day, and some people indeed do just that! The daily meditation suggestions are more like minimal guidelines than rules anyway. See them all by clicking here!
Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death
and upon those in the tombs
Al-Masih qam min bain'il-amwat,
wa wati al mowt bil mowt,
wa wahab'l hayah lil ladhina fi'l qubur
المسيح قام من بين الأموات
ووطئ الموت بالموت
ووهب الحياة للذين في القبور
Christus is opgestaan uit de doden,
door Zijn dood vertreedt Hij de dood
en schenkt het Leven
aan hen in het graf!
Le Christ est ressuscité des morts;
par la mort, il a vaincu la mort;
à ceux qui sont dans les tombeaux
il a donné la vie!
Christus ist auferstanden von den Toten
hat den Tod durch den Tod zertreten
und denen in den Gräbern das Leben geschenkt!
Hristos Anesti ek nekron,
thanato thanaton patisas,
ke tis en tis mnimassi zoin harisamenos
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν,
θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας,
καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι,
המשיח קם מבין המתים
רמס מות במותו
וחיים למתים נתן
Cristo è risorto dai morti,
Con la morte ha vinto la morte,
E a quelli nelle tombe
Ha donato la vita!
Christus resurrexit a mortuis,
Morte mortem calcavit,
Et eis in sepulchris
Chrystus powstał z martwych
śmiercią podeptał śmierć
i będącym w grobach
Hristos a înviat din morţi,
Cu moartea pre moarte călcând,
Şi celor din morminte,
ru|Христос воскрес из мертвых,
смертью смерть поправ
и пребывающим во гробах
Cristo ha resucitado de los muertos,
pisoteando la muerte por la muerte,
y a los que están en los sepulcros
dando la vida.
Mesih ölülerden dirildi,
ölüm ile ölümü tepeleyerek
ve mezarda olanlara hayat bağışladı.