Everyone makes a journey through their life. My journey was pretty even paced until I had kids. Then? Then there were quite a few years where the journey was rough.. and full of pot-holes. When my son was unstable? And we tried medicine after medicine to try to help him? There were days (and weeks).. that I was so exhausted that I begged God for answers. Days that I dreamed of those dog-days of childhood. (You know?.. the days when you were a teenager.. and you were SOOOOO bored.. and you were the ONLY one in the world still at home and not at the beach… with NOTHING to do?!?..) … Yup… There were days I wanted to be bored again…
But I knew that it was all part of God’s journey for me. I knew that EVERY step on that path had a purpose… So after some tears.. and a deep breath (or two.. or three…)… I prayed for strength .. and took that next step…
When I look at Jesus’s journey on this Earth… it makes mine look like those dog-days of childhood.
Actually.. the beginning of Jesus’s life wasn’t so different from mine. After His amazing birth and His family’s escape to Egypt… Jesus’s childhood sounds kind of .. well?.. kind of boring.. His family moved around some.. Jesus went with them. Mary and Joseph took their family on “vacation” every year.. to Jerusalem.. Jesus went with them.
And then when Jesus was 12.. His parents left him behind.. When they noticed He was gone? They rushed back to find Him in the Temple..
After that.. There is nothing much to note.. The Bible merely states that Jesus lived in Nazareth with His family.. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52 .. In other words.. Jesus grew smarter… He grew taller.. He made God proud.. and everyone liked Him.. An excellent childhood… but still? Pretty uneventful..
So in Jesus’s Journey through life? The path through His childhood was pretty easy..
In fact, the Bible says His Life was pretty non-eventful until Jesus was 30. Why 30? I am not sure.. maybe I will ask God someday when I see Him.
But what we do know is that at 30.. Jesus started His Ministry. He collected disciples.. and started His Journey to spread the news of God’s Love .. and God’s Plan for us.. And for this part of His life? Jesus actually did travel a lot. If you read through the book of John? You see all of the places Jesus travelled to.. Mostly on foot.. sometimes in a boat.. and even walking on water once. We know that His ministry lasted around 3 years.. But still that is a lot of walking even for 3 years.
As those 3 years came to a close, Jesus prepared to carry out His Father’s Plan.
Yes.. at the ripe old age of 33? Jesus prepared to die. Not because He was sick.. No.. Jesus had been well cared for by friends and followers on those 3 years of Ministry. He was not about to die for anything He had done.. Jesus was blameless.. sinless. No.. Jesus was preparing to die for each and EVERY ONE of those friends and followers… and He was preparing to die for each and every person who was about to put Him to death. To die that we all might live..
All the while Jesus was preparing to save us? He had to keep walking down that Path.. one step at a time.. And those last few days? I can imagine it took a lot of strength to keep walking. To watch a crowd of your country men demand that you die? Yet He kept moving forward. When they forced him to carry a gigantic cross on His back? Jesus kept moving… He kept putting one foot in front of the other.. When they beat Him? Just kept walking.. He followed His journey.. for us…
So I have to ask?
Where are you?
In your journey through life.. where are you today? Where are YOU on Good Friday?
Where am I?
Am I in the crowd that demanded the release of a murderer .. instead of a sinless man? No… I see no sense in this.. except that it must have been God’s Plan…
Am I with Peter? Am I denying that I have a personal relationship with the One true God’s Only Son? Am I denying that I spend time each day in prayer with Jesus? I think sometimes I am.. Not purposely.. but when I can’t find the right words to express my faith.. sometimes I remain verbally quiet… But Peter? Peter loved Jesus.. and so do I? So yes.. sometimes I travel with Peter….
Am I in the crowd that watched Jesus drag His heavy cross? A cross that is to symbolize his crime? A crime He didn’t commit? Do I stand in that crowd and watch Jesus struggle? Do I reach out a hand wishing to help? Do I step forward? Step forward and allow myself to be forced by the soldiers to carry the cross with Jesus?
Am I with the soldiers? Am I hitting God’s Son? Poking Him with sticks? Stabbing through Jesus’s side with spears? Am I offering Him sour wine? Am I laughing at God.. and His Miracles? Taunting Jesus’s inability to call on God to save Him?
Am I with the Priests? Am I still doubting that Jesus IS the Son of God?
Am I with the crowd who divided up Jesus’s belongings? Am I gambling with them to see who would take His robe or His sandals? Am I hoping that having a Holy item will bring me prosperity.. or luck?
Am I standing with Mary, Mother of Jesus at the foot of the cross? Am I holding her hand? Am I holding her up as she watches that beautiful boy.. that beautiful soul die before her eyes? The miracle child that God gave her. The child that grew within her. The child she protected and raised. The child she watched and wondered at. Am I watching with her as Jesus’s blood pours from His wounds? Do I hold Mary’s hand as the crowd laughs and taunts Jesus? Do I hold her tightly as He struggles to hold His head up? Am I crying with her? No.. when I imagine standing with Mary.. my chest hurts so bad I can’t breathe.. I wouldn’t have been crying.. That would take too much strength.. I am on my knees with Mary.. wanting to reach out.. wanting to demand they take Him down… wanting to scream at everyone of Jesus’s innocence.. scream the insane injustice they are carrying out.. But all of that takes breath… so I just kneel.. and hurt… Right next to His mother…
Am I hanging on the cross next to Jesus? Are my sins so great that I deserved to be crucified? I have sinned.. All have sinned. No one who has sinned is worthy of Heaven.. so Yes.. I should be hanging on the cross.. I should have nails through my hands and through my feet.. I should have holes in my sides..
But I am not.. Jesus took my place.. He took THAT section from my Journey away from me.. So instead? Instead I am forced to walk PAST His crucifixion. But where we stand to watch? God has left that decision up to us…
When Jesus knew that Every item on God’s Easter List was finished (John 19:28)… His last words, “It is finished!” echoed through the air… Jesus knew then that His Journey was done.. Jesus had fulfilled God’s plan for Him…
So.. today at noon.. when the sky should dim in rememberance?? When every head should bow in shame?? When a tear should come to every eye?
Where will you be?