And nothing more
And the end has come
The end of Jesus’ earthly journey has come. The time of God - walking fully human on earth - has ended.
The Holiest of Holies
The Holiest of Holies
Jesus’ life for our life
Jesus’ life to quench our shame
Jesus’ life to quench our sin
Jesus’ death to meet our death
The time of God on earth has ended and the time of God on earth has been fulfilled in its purpose.
For on this Friday, this holy and Good Friday, as we look at Jesus’ death we see that Jesus came to suffer for our sins so that our sins might be snuffed out, quenched; freeing us from our prisons to give us the promise of new life.
Yet this new life work is not easy work. Here at the end as we contemplate Jesus’ death we also in some way meet our own death. We come face to face with that day upon which life in these bodies - sooner or later - will end.
And at the end, here at the end, we therefore come face to face with all of who we have been in this world; the good, and the bad, the charitable and the greedy, the loving and unforgiving, the compassionate and the high and mighty know-it-all.
We come, at the end, to meet our Maker. We come to the silence. And in this silence we meet our Maker who is the Righteous Judge and who is also the Bleeding Lamb who willingly sacrificed himself for us. We meet the Sovereign Unchanging Author of the Universe who also became small, like us so, that we might not die alone, and small, and trapped in sin.
And at the end, in this silence, at this place that is the last of what we have known in this world, we find the Christ waiting for us. We find that the Sovereign of the Universe has been preparing to meet us here. We find that the Christ has climbed willingly to the cross and his body hangs in the wind right now. His body hangs in the winds of time so that the resurrection story might be written across all time.
And we ache that our Savior should suffer like this. We ache to see Jesus suffer and we know, somehow we know somewhere deep down within us, that this ache that is Jesus’ pain is our pain. They are one and the same.
To look at Jesus’ pain is to really look and see our own suffering and the suffering of the world etched as if in stone upon Jesus’ suffering brow. It is too much to bear, this silence at the end. This aching, breaking of the heart silence at the end of Jesus’ life that is the end of our life that is the silence.
The writer Edna St. Vincent Millay finishes one of her poems acknowledging the inevitability of death and the grief that accompanies losing loved ones with the line, “I know, but I am not resigned.”
And I think that we, too, are not resigned. Silent, aware of Christ’s broken body and our own broken lives; we nevertheless wait for that Easter Dawn. Something deep within us is not resigned for we know, somehow with God’s help through Christ we know that there is a deeper song that stretches by grace across the universe, echoing into every silence. That grace holds us tightly, even here at the end. Amen.