As we accompany Jesus our Lord in his Passion and Death, we are aware as well of our own sufferings, the burden of our sinfulness and the pain of so many of our sisters and brothers throughout the world. Jesus gathers all of this into His Passion and will not allow it to have the last word. Jesus goes to His death, knowing that by enduring the horror of it all He can expose it for what it is- utterly powerless when Love endures it, when He endures it trusting in the Father's inexpressible love.
In freedom Jesus goes to the place of mockery and scorn and pain to show us that it does not have ultimate power over us, for we belong to God. And so the event of Jesus’ lifting up on the cross obliterates impossibility. Now nothing is impossible. Jesus, God crucified, draws us into the beauty of God’s desire for our good, our peace, our freedom. Jesus smashes the barrier, so that we can hear the Father say over and over to us, “I know well the plans I have in mind for you, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, and I will change your lot.” (Jeremiah 29.11-14)
Jesus reveals a God who is always drawing us into life and the reality of our own belovedness; all this through His disfigured humanity, the disfigured divinity of God. Death no longer has the last word in His life nor in ours. The compassion of Jesus envelops us and so we need not be afraid ever again. The wounded, risen Jesus makes the tenderness of the Father available to us at every moment.
Image of Christ by Fra Angelico.With thanks to James Alison for some of the insights included above.