XIII & XIV
The darkness overcomes me. The utter silence. The cold chill of lifelessness. All is lost. Absolute hopelessness.
As I sat inside a very dark, stone-hewn grave somewhere in Jerusalem, I imagined that this is what the world would be like without the hope of the resurrection.
Why would we want to live if the loving presence of our eternal Jesus was not with us each and every moment of our life? Why bother to get up if our Lord is not there to sustain and keep us, encouraging and loving us?
And yet, this is what life is like daily for those who have not experienced what we will celebrate in only a very few days. This is the daily reality of so many that we live, work, and communicate with on a regular basis. We, thanks be to God, serve a risen, living, loving, personable Savior!
Contemplate the emptiness of a world without Jesus. May it spur you on to tell others the rest of the story. Perhaps invite a non-Churched, de-Churched or “Chr-Easter” (only goes at Christmas and Easter) friend or acquaintance to celebrate with you...because Sunday’s coming!
Be bold, do it for Jesus...He did it all for you.
Station XIII: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
Meditation: Recall how two of His disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, took Jesus’ body down from His Cross, and how they laid Him in the arms of His stricken Mother. She received Him with tenderness, pressing Him close to her afflicted heart.
Prayer: Mother of Sorrows, for the love of your Son, take me for your servant, and pray to Him on my behalf. And You, dear Jesus, who died for me, let me love You; let me desire You and You alone.
Station XIV: Jesus is Laid in the Sepulcher
Meditation: The Body of her dearly beloved Son is taken from His Mother and laid in the tomb. The tomb is closed, and the lifeless Body remains until the hour of its glorious Resurrection.
Prayer: O Jesus, lying buried in the tomb, I reverently kiss the stone that encloses You. But on the third day, You rose in glory. By the Resurrection, call me too to rise in glory on the last day, to be forever united with You.
“Brothers and Sister: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4.
Thank You for dying on the cross for me. Thank You for taking my shame, my guilt, my sin, and paying the price for it so that I do not have to. By Your grace, I throw open the doors of my heart today. I ask that You come into it in a deeper way and make me more like You. Thank You that You did not stay in the grave, but that You rose from the dead so that I too can rise above all that keeps me enslaved on this earth. Lord, please give me the grace to be bold, loving...to be the one who always seeks out others, just as You did for me. Lord, may this Easter, I rise with You into newness of life, and be so full of the joy that comes from knowing and loving You that I freely tell others with my actions as well as my words, all that You so loving have done for me.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.