The Death of JesusDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.
If you are reading this, you are not dead. You have not experienced firsthand the process of dying. If you have witnessed death, you have seen it—no matter how close to it you were—as Jesus’ friends did: “at a distance.”
Until we go through it ourselves, we don’t really understand death.
Yet, death is all around us. Death is too much, too much with us.
I see it in the carcass of a deer in the creek. I see it dancing with my 98-year old grandmother, some days taking the lead, other days sitting out for a song or two. I see it in my best girl—my old dog—in the increased struggles to get up and down the stairs. I see it siphoning away, before our very eyes, the life of our beloved church pianist, yet young. I see it in the mirror in the deepening lines around my mouth.
I wonder at death. I tremble before death. I dread death. I fear death. I hate death.
As if the world were not filled with enough hints that something here is amiss, terribly amiss—greedy kings, hungry children, wayward hearts, fallen birds—death yowls and roars all around us until I want to stop my ears.
But Jesus. Oh, Jesus.
I stand at a distance and marvel at his willing submission to death’s horrible hands, his willing humiliation between its ravaging teeth.
Jesus takes death—the sign that points to all that is wrong in this world—and through death makes it all right again.
If we watch, we will see.
QUESTIONS FOR REFELCTION: How have you experienced death in your life? How close or distant has this experience felt to you? Have you been able to see in death a pointing toward life? What does it mean that Jesus, the son of God, experienced—and overcame—physical death?
PRAYER: God of Life, thank you for my life. Thank you for the life all around me. Open my eyes to that life, but also, Lord, I pray you will open my eyes to the death that is all around me, too—deaths small as well as large, spiritual as well as physical. Help me to see the fallen aspects of this world that these deaths signify. But help me, too, to remember and live out every moment of every day the victory that your death has brought to this fallen world and to this fallen person. Thank you, Lord, for conquering death so that I may live. Amen.