The Eighth Station: What Are We Supposed To Learn From The Tomb?

April 22, 2011 Comments Off on The Eighth Station: What Are We Supposed To Learn From The Tomb?

The scenes we have encountered in the stations up until now are violent, bloody, shocking, disturbing – but they are all, at their heart, active. They offer us opportunities to put ourselves in our Lord’s shoes, to attempt to bend our minds and hearts around the unimaginable suffering he willingly underwent out of love for us. On his way to Calvary, Jesus models the ways God wants us to respond to the horror and evil of our world; every station thus far has given us an example of how to remain in relationship with God and others even as we plumb the depths of pain and grief.

Approached this way, the eighth station comes as a particular challenge: what are we supposed to learn from the tomb? What does death – without the assurance or even the possibility of Resurrection – model for us? For me, the eighth station is by far the most uncomfortable to contemplate because it demands that I stop. It demands that I suspend my knowledge that Easter is close at hand and face the finality of death. It demands that I wait. And it inevitably puts me in touch with all the places in my own life that feel like dead ends, the relationships that feel seem beyond repair, the dreams I have given up on.

In order to even begin to fathom what the Resurrection is, we have to go all the way with Christ. It is not enough that we stand witness to the bloody horror of the crucifixion, with all its dramatic shape. We must also dare to enter the tomb – that place between hopelessness and hope where all motion is suspended and all we can do is wait, without even knowing what we’re waiting for.

It is only when we willingly enter the tomb, when we come to terms with finality, that our conceptions of the possible and the impossible are turned upside down. There are no shortcuts to Resurrection.

– Kristin Saylor

8th Station, painting by James Middleton

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