10 April, 2009

The Passion of Christ

Echoes of Mary's Tears

Today, over at: http://digihairshirt.blogspot.com/ , Stephanie posted a video clip from Mel Gibson's film: THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.

She titled the post "Today, We All are Mary." There was no other comment. The camera focuses on Mary, the chosen one, the earthly Mother of God as her firstborn son undergoes unimaginable torture, scourging and finally brutal cruxifiction under Roman law, dealt mercilessly by the Roman legion.

I wrote a response that bears repeating here. It has been edited and expanded upon for content and grammar ....and for expository clarity.

"Good Friday at St. James, the candles are gone, the tabernacle empty, the door ajar...draped in black. The torches, gone... the bells, silent...the pulpits, the tables bare.

The altar is stark and alone and empty, draped in black. It is the table of sacrifice.

Tonight we will read the St. John Passion by torchlight and pray the Good Friday litany cloaked only in black cassocks, no jewelry, no crosses. Echoes rejoin with soft tears and torn hearts. Jesus is gone, he is not here.

Every reminder of Christ removed, swept away by our selfishness and sin...and we are left alone, bereft of our beloved saviour, friend and brother.

Yeup..., today, we are all Mary.

Were it not that we already know the outcome, it would seem that the 'Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time' (1) has prevailed, and Satan won the war."

We wait, heartsick and broken, and to the world, bereft of hope.


(1) - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis, Chap.13

Good Friday

Jerusalem to Gesthemane
Gesthemane to Golgotha


Jesus has been called to make a choice. In doing so, He calls us to make the same choice.

Last night we celebrated the last supper. It was the last time Jesus would eat or drink. No more would he enjoy his friends, teach or preach and watch God's light return to vacant eyes. He, Jesus the Christ was going out to pray, writhe in tortured inner pain and make a momentous, cataclysmic choice.

- Who is in charge?

We hear it all the time, that simple question is asked in all manner of contexts.

What it boils down to, for we who profess to be followers of Jesus, the Christ, is a choice. And that choice, beloved, is a two-fold decision.

- It is a choice we make once, and only once to choose Christ as our Lord. In that moment, he redeems all that is sinful, evil, wrong and broken within us.

- It is a choice we are called to make every day from that intial point until the day when our true self sheds this earthly skin and we go home.

We are asked to choose between our own path and the path that God would have us walk. On our own, we walk alone, selfish and broken, moving ever farther from communion with the God who created us. When we choose to walk with Christ, we are restored to communion with God and we draw ever closer to him.

There is a being, one of God's own servants who wants nothing more than for us to choose to walk alone. It is an angelic being, called "Lucifer" by some, "Satan" or the devil or various other names by others. It...or "he" was the first to choose his own path, to walk away from communion with God the Creator. And beloved, he is evil, the epitome of all sin, the antithesis of Christ.

And, beloved, Lucifer or Satan, or whatever you call him, is who he is because of his own choosing.

Lucifer exists alone and cursed.


Jesus went before the Jewish council. They questioned him and found him to be a blasphemer. Unable to kill him by their own law, they sent him to face the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and washed his hands of the matter, finding him innocent of breaking any Roman law.

The Roman legionaires scourged him and nailed him to a cross and hung him between thieves on a hillside called Golgotha, "the place of the skull."

There, Jesus the Christ, took upon his own being all of the evil that had ever been or will ever be manifested in this world. It was his choice. And he died carrying that sin. He died and broke forever the curse of Lucifer.

That is Good Friday. And if it were the end of the story, it would probably not be remembered.

However....It is not the end. It is the beginning...only we must wait and wonder and observe and recall:

Easter does not come to us without the Cross.