Little known fact: I have a one-inch scar on my left wrist. One day, as a youngster enjoying a warm summer day, I followed my friend out the front door. I tried catching the half glass and half screen door with my hands before it hit me in the face.
Unfortunately, my hand broke the glass and went straight through that portion of the door. It was a miracle that I only have one scar. And the cut was in just the right shape and size that it didn’t hit any major vessels.
I hadn’t thought about my scar in years. It’s there and yet I pay absolutely no attention to it. It’s become a faded memory of a summer long ago.
But recently, when I happened to notice my scar, a surprising thought came to mind, “by his stripes we are healed.” I pictured Jesus and his scars. It is likely that the nails were driven into Jesus’ wrists to hold the weight of his body. My scar is in approximately the same place as his.
Unlike me, I am confident that Jesus has never forgotten his scars. His scars were chosen. His scars were willingly received. All because of his love for all of us.
Since this is Holy Week, I’d like to walk us briefly through the three movements of this weekend.
Dying. Waiting. Rising.
Jesus accomplished this on our behalf from a place of deep and abiding love. And we have the opportunity to live this process out over and over throughout each of our lives. Nature itself is in a continual state of dying, waiting, rising. And so are we.
So, this week, together, let’s participate in the dying, the waiting and the rising.
If you’d like, you can print this and read each section on the particular day. Let yourself live and experience each day in the light of its theme.
DYING (Good Friday)
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed. (Isaiah 53:4-6, NLT)
Take time to soak in the reality of this kind of love. Thank God for the gift of healing that is yours because of what Jesus bore.
WAITING (Holy Saturday)
"Sitting in love. Waiting without answers. Hoping without evidence." (Richard Rohr)
Holy Saturday is for all of us who are waiting for something. We have no answers. We have no evidence. We wait. We hope.
Imagine you are one of the disciples of Jesus. He was crucified and buried yesterday. This doesn't make any sense. My teacher and friend is gone. This can't be right. The grief. The loss. What will I do?
If you are in deep pain and are waiting in the process, Holy Saturday is the day on the church calendar when you are deeply, lovingly acknowledged. Waiting is real. The loss is real.
The disciples did not know about the resurrection to come the next day. They only knew their grief and loss.
We are here and now. We know how the story continues. Resurrection did come. But today we will sit in the unknowing, the loss, the confusion.
Let yourself be seen in this place. Give yourself permission to grieve. It's ok to await resurrection, but don't miss the beauty of the waiting.
RISING (Easter Sunday)
And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (Romans 6:4)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
He is risen! He is risen indeed and alive forevermore!