Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

March 21, 2016 Comments Off on Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

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Artist: Thomas Wharton

We’ve all had moments in our lives when it seems like something truly wonderful—even miraculous—is about to happen. There are times when it seems like all our dreams are about to come true. And then, in a matter of moments, something goes wrong, and it all comes undone. The dream we thought we were having becomes a nightmare.

For the followers of Jesus, the Lord’s death on the cross was one such moment. When he entered Jerusalem, all the signs pointed to a glorious political triumph. Jesus was God’s anointed—the messiah who would kick out the foreign rulers and become King of Israel. He would lead the people back to their former greatness.
Yet on the cross, all these hopes, dreams, and expectations were dashed when Jesus breathed his last. There would be no king of Israel, the Romans would continue ruling much as before, people would remain poor, lonely, sick, naked, and hungry, and the religious elite would continue being hypocrites. This man who said he had come to proclaim release to the imprisoned, sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed was dead, and the work he began was no where near finished.

At Easter, we often gloss over the moment of Jesus’ death. We think of Christ’s suffering, his humiliation, and the pain he went through. We often theologize, talking about Jesus’ death in terms of atonement, or in terms of redeeming the totality of human experience. We quickly hurry to the resurrection, eager to see the new life that arises from death. But Jesus’ death was bitterly disappointing.

Before jumping to resurrection and the promise of eternal life, let’s be brave enough to stand at the foot of the cross with the dead Christ. This week, take time to pause at this most painful station of the cross, and be with Jesus at the moment of his death.

– Stephen Lloyd

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