Tonight is the night it all started over 2,000 years ago. Where history was changed. Where one Man suffered tremendously. Where one Man was beaten, spit on, slapped, scourged, brutally murdered. Where one Man conquered death and rose from the dead. That man is Jesus Christ.
Tonight, The Last Supper took place. The Last Supper is when all the 12 disciples and Jesus got together and had their last meal together before The Passion. It’s where Jesus told the disciples that someone ( Judas ) would betray Him, where Jesus broke bread and drank wine telling the disciples to remember Him in this way always. This is the day Jesus washed the feet of the 12 disciples to show them the leadership they should take on. Tonight is the night where Jesus would go to the Garden and pray before Judas and the Roman soldiers come to Him to take Jesus away. This is the night where Jesus literally sweat blood He was so stressed. Have you ever been so stressed that blood is dripping from your face? Jesus is going to have one of His formally closest friends ( Judas ) betray Him with a kiss. Jesus is going to be chained up, beaten. He’s gonna be humiliated, go through a trail. Jesus would then be trapped over night, locked up.
Tomorrow The Passion begins at 9am and ends when Jesus died at 3pm. Tomorrow is the day where Jesus was beaten, with a whip that had hooks in them to literally take some if His flesh from His body. The skin would just be hanging from His body. And to be mocked even more, the roman soldiers are then going to place a crown of thorns in His head, blood mixed with spit run down His face. Then Jesus will be brought out, and there they will place a wooden cross upon Him to carry. The cross laying on every open wound He has, to where the blood and the wooden cross start to clot together. He will be forced to walk to busy streets of Jerusalem, especially the busiest time of year, Passover. With every step and move Jesus’ body makes, He is filled with shocks of excruciating pain. Because He was so dehydrated, His kidneys would shut down, His heart racing because He’s lost so much blood, and as His blood pressure goes down, so does Jesus. Before making it to Calvary, most of His internal organs will shut down.
I recently watched The Passion with a friend, and we both noticed how when Jesus fell for the second time, Mary ran to Him. Like she ran to Him when He was a child and had tripped. When He fell for the second time during The Passion, she ran to Him, trying to comfort Him. You could tell that they both knew that The Passion had to be done, but you could also tell that they didn’t want it to happen. As Mary looks into Jesus’ eyes as He is down on the ground, you can see the strength that is built up in Jesus. You can see that the sight of His mother, gives Him the strength to move forward on this gruesome, hard, and painful journey.
When He gets to calvary, He is thrown down on the cross, in such pain. 9 inch nails in His wrists, where His median nerve is. As the nails go into His wrists, we can not even begin to comprehend the shock of pain that wend through His body. His shoulders would be pulled out of socket, making it even harder for Him to breath. With the nails in His hands and feet, Jesus is going to be raised up on the cross, naked and humiliated and bloody, for all to mock. His body will begin to shut down. He is gonna die a slow painful death, and ultimately dying because He is unable to breath.
This whole Lent I’ve meditated on The Passion and really dug into it. I can tell you by doing this, I have learned the meaning of the cross. Every time I put a cross around my neck, every time I make the sign of the cross, every time I go to mass, I am reminded of all Jesus went through for 2 straight days. The beatings, the torture, the humiliation. Do you think of that when you put a cross around your neck, or in your car, or even make the sign of the cross? Do we think about The Passion, the death, this act of tremendous love? Or do we just make the sign of the cross because that’s what we are suppose to do in mass or because as a young child thats what you were taught to do? It’s not about HOW it happened on Good Friday but WHY. We have to come to reality that we have to live with, that the God of the universe loves you so much that He would rather then risk spending eternity without you. He found the suffering to be worth it! He found YOU worth it! “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” -John 3:16-17.
My challenge for you this week and for this Easter Triduum, is when you make the sign of the cross, don’t just think about the how and the what, think about the Who and the why. I also challenge you to go to your Holy Thursday mass, your Good Friday mass and other events they have on Good Friday. I know Saint Monica’s in Duluth Georgia has Stations of the Cross, The Rosary, Confession. God is giving you these opportunities to go…Take them! I hope and pray that you’ve had a blessed and fruitful Lent, and I pray that you will have a blessed and Fruitful Easter Triduum and Easter Sunday. You are doing a great job. You are loved! You are good enough! You are the best you, you can be! Keep being awesome!!