The Women At The Cross (Reflections On The Death And Resurrection Of Jesus)
The women at the cross. Have you ever thought about them?
Why not drift into a comfortable - and meditative - positionon a coach or in a chair and read verses 40 and 41 in Mark,chapter 15?
When I read those words, one of my first thoughts was"Gutsy!" I would not have wanted to watch.
Some folks that day watched because they were cruel andinsensitive people.
Not these women. They were there because they cared.
They did not know the answer to his cry, "My God, my God,why have you forsaken me?"
* They were "just there." There...
And probably wondering "Why?" along with Jesus.
Another thought I had as I reflected on this passage wasthis: it is good to spend time "being there" with thesewomen.
It is an ugly scene. Brutality. Hatred. Sounds ofsuffering.
Yet, in the midst of the horror, hatred and cruelty there isa great deal of beauty.
It is the beauty of God's love. God's love for me.
And the love of these women for Jesus.
Yes, it is hard - but good - to spend time there and "watch"with this caring group of women.
It is good to stop and reflect.
I WONDER WHAT THEY WOULD SAY TO ME?
While meditating on the entire scene, I wrote down the following question:
"I wonder what they would say to me now as I sit in myoffice and reflect on this?
What would Mary Magdalene say? And Mary, the mother ofJesus - what would she tell me?"
The following is what I wrote down in answer to the questionI posed. I imagined that these women - the women at thescene of the cross - would say something like this to me:
You can't imagine the agony. You just can't imagine. Wecould hardly look.
Unbelievable. It was too awful for words. We felt sohelpless and hopeless.
But, we are on 'this side' of the cross now.
And we say to you: 'Spend some time here, Lee.' Don'tbreeze past these few short lines in your Bible.
He suffered for a purpose. Never let your heart stray toofar from that one great truth.
You see, we heard him.
We heard him cry "Why?" We also heard him ask the Father toforgive those in front of him.
Take strength in his love.
To be sure, you should allow the pain of those moments tobring pain to your heart.
But be quick to pray to him and ask him to guide you throughthe process of seeing him there.
Then, ask him to give you a deep, abiding sense of his beingwith you here...
In your world.
In your heart.
On this side of the cross.
And pray for your world, Lee. Don't forget that. Let ourSavior's agony be your motivation to pray for people.
People like us.
We needed him - more than we realized at the moment.
More than a person we loved. More than the one we called"the Messiah."
We needed him as our Savior.
The people of the world need him, Lee.
Where you were raised.
The city where you received your education.
Where you were in Viet Nam.
They *all* need him.
Think about that - and embrace him. Embrace him with allyour heart.
Believe us. You will never regret that.
You see, Lee, we're with him now. We see him in a muchdifferent light. We cannot even begin to describe him toyou as we see him now.
But you will know - someday.
So hold on. Come here often to take a look.
But also look beyond the agony of the cross, his death, andhis burial. Be sure you see something else we saw: theempty tomb.
We'll look forward to 'seeing' you there with us.
Standing in awe.
And growing to love him more there before the empty
May our wonderful, living Savior bless your day, brother.
Saved by his love,
The women at the cross."
May I encourage you to read Mark 15 and 16 -- stopping longenough at the cross to think about what happened on that sadday? But, please don't stay there. Move on from the crossto the resurrection.
And your reflections are...? Maybe a few key words?
Yours for a day filled with hope in Jesus,
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