(A Good Friday Meditation)
Today we follow Jesus all the way to his tomb.
We follow him as he is mocked and beaten and spit upon.
We follow him as he takes up his cross and begins the long walk through Jerusalem out to Golgotha.
We follow him as he stumbles under his burden until Simon of Cyrene is pulled out of the crowd to help him.
We follow him as he is nailed to the cross.
We follow him as he suffers and dies.
We follow him as he is taken down from the cross.
We follow him as he is carried to the garden tomb.
We follow him as the stone is rolled over the mouth of the tomb.
We follow him as he lies there in the silent darkness.
That’s what we do today: we follow him all along the way as he moves from his trial to his entombment.
And if we want to we can go to Jerusalem and walk along the Via Dolorosa, literally following in the footsteps of Jesus.
But are we following Jesus to the tomb in our real daily lives? Jesus called his disciples and Jesus calls us (we are also his disciples) to take up our cross and follow him. Jesus calls us to lose our lives for his sake. Jesus calls us to love God with all we are and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Jesus calls us to love each other like he loves us, which means that we willingly give ourselves up for each other.
Jesus died for our sins but he also calls us to die to our sins. What is in our hearts that needs to die? What kinds of motives or fears need to die? How does our pride still need to die?
Our following of Jesus begins not with our feet but with our hearts. If we are going to die with Jesus, we will start with these prejudices, biases, fears, grudges, and other things that we harbor and nurture because they feed our egos.
Will we follow Jesus all the way to the tomb? Will we die with him?