Last night I woke up at around one in the morning..
I realized it was Good Friday. I realized that at that very moment – not just 2000 years ago, but in a timeless permanent eternity-- Jesus was being led from place to place in the three separate trials.
I felt so very sorry for him and all I could see was how lonely he felt. I said, “Jesus, I’ll wait with you one hour.”
If you’ve ever had a friend or family member in the hospital and had to wait, that’s what it felt like. I felt myself to be in a house knowing that my Lord had been taken away and was being interrogated and beaten and spat on, and mocked….how could I sleep? It would have meant leaving him to suffer alone and although I knew he would suffer in a way no man had ever suffered before – and I couldn’t really be with him in that kind of passionate suffering—yet I just didn’t want Him to think I was forsaking Him. I wanted Him to know I was thinking of Him, and waiting for Him.
Even so…it was tough because I’m such a day-dreamer. I kept trying to keep my mind on him but my mind would float over to my novel, to some television show, to my own problems.
Then in my imagination I saw Him entering Pilate’s palace. He was so bloodied and beaten up and humiliated and naked. And his head was pierced with all the marks from the crown of thorns. He smelled horrible and Pilate was so perfumed. He was sweaty and bloody and Pilate was so clean. He could hardly stand up and Pilate was Lord of all he surveyed. Then Pilate says, “Don’t you realize I could free you?” Then Pilate said, “Who do you think you are?” Then after Jesus answered him, Pilate said, “Are you a God then?”
And Jesus speaking with this terrible lower-class Galilean accent…and with mumbled words because he had been beaten across the mouth and his teeth had fallen out. And He said, “That’s your word for it. I am. And you will see me come with power!”
I was sooo proud of him. I can’t tell you how proud. Tears just rolled down my eyes as I lay on the bed. I love a strong soul, and yet…to be so beaten up, to be standing in front of so much earthly power and yet to be able to say in the face of all that mocking, “I am God.”
St Paul said, “Jesus Christ witnessed a good confession before Pilate.” Yes Jesus did.
The Bible tells us that “because of the joy that lay before him – the salvation of so many souls and the bringing of many sons to God—Jesus rejoiced at going to the cross.” The Bible tells us, “Let God be true, and every man a liar.”
I hope we all can have the power to stand in front of whatever earthly or demonic powers that seem to be more powerful than we are and to say the foolish, foolish, mocked, and denied truth that God has called us to declare.
I agree with Paul: “I am determined to know Jesus and the power of his resurrection power, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us and perfects our human bodies even while we live.”
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