Today many of us will gather in our Churches, holding candles and singing hymns and psalms as we take the burial shroud of the Lord , and place it with great reverence and solemnity in the centre of the Church.
It is this image, of a broken and abused messiah, lying dead, surrounded by His mother, Joseph and Nicodemus, angels and others, that has to be the lens through which we see His ministry, His miracles, and His Resurrection. But it also has to be the lens in which we see our own life.
He who is the “way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:16) willingly offers Himself on humanities’ behalf, out of love and obedience, (not out of punishment or debt) to the Father. By His passion and death He perfects our nature – that rejected the gift of life in Eden with Adam’s sin, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).
What we were all called to be, by the Grace of God, from the beginning is made possible by the Lord’s love, and willingness to die that He might free us from death eternally. It is our baptism, our willingness to take up our cross daily and lose our life for His sake, and the Gospel. This is true life.
Unless we can see through this dreadful, profound passion and death of the Lord, none of what we see in the Gospels, and the Church make sense, they simply become mythology and superstition. Unless we can see the love of the Lord through this broken and dead messiah – the violence, poverty, and injustice in our lives and in the world can never have resolution, and eternal peace. Unless we can see the Lord, who willingly offers himself to save us, we will never see life as being anything worth living.
“We worship your Passion O Christ. Show us your also your Glorious Resurrection!”