The week began with perfect temperatures, a slight Mediterranean breeze, and palm branches cascading on a sunlight path, ushering Jesus’s triumphant ride into Jerusalem. Then, from the Passover feast to the crucifixion, an escalating storm unleashes, rewriting history and our very lives.
Look around the Passover table. Raised eyebrows and whispers question why Jesus washes their feet. In another surprising departure from tradition, Jesus passes one cup among the disciples. He says the wine represents His blood and the unleavened bread His body, but how is that possible? He’s sitting right there, isn’t He?
A chill skims the breeze on their walk into the Garden of Gethsemane, a place well known to Jesus and His disciples. The olive tree branches hang as eerie backdrops to soldiers accompanying a betrayer. A timeless foe creeps along the ground, rejoicing in the upgraded storm, scattering the disciples and dashing the hope of mankind.
The squall between Pilate and Herod halts with clean hands to clear the road for Jesus to Golgatha – the skull-shaped hill. And flogging stains their record for all eternity.
Simon attempts to pass through the area with his sons but is swept onto center stage, forced to carry the jagged, wooden cross. As gusts of wind whip around him, Simon looks into Jesus’s blood-stained face and sees His beaten body. The world slows, and the crowd and commotion blur as the Messiah’s love bathes him. No longer buried under the weight of the cross, Simon witnesses the innocence of the Lamb of God. His task completed, he and his boys remain at the foot of the cross.
Muscles bulge as a soldier wields his hammer, driving hand-forged spikes into the Creator’s hands and feet. Gale force winds echo excruciating pain, delivering blows to the hearts of disciples and Mary, the mother of Jesus. At the apex of the storm, darkness engulfs the land, the earth quakes, and the temple veil that has separated sinner from Savior splits.
Listen. The storm has passed. Love bursts through the horizon. The acrid aroma of Jesus’s blood mingles in the air with the sweet fragrance of forgiveness. The gates of hell cannot prevail and its captives are set free. See for yourself! The grave does not hold Him. He has risen! The Prince of Peace reigns eternal!
Jesus opens his nail-pierced hands to you and me. He offers the cup, His blood, and the bread, His body, a living sacrifice, and whispers “Peace, be still.”
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” (Matt. 28:5-6, NIV)
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By Amre Cortadino
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