Jesus's words on the way to the cross pt. 4
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then“‘they will say to the mountains, 'Fall on us! and to the hills, “Cover us!’ For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
“Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Today is "Good Friday" and so it seemed fitting to share what Jesus said in his final moments before dying. I feel like there is a lot to unpack here.
First, I want to talk about his words to the "daughters of Jerusalem". This is a quote I have rarely heard referenced. As I took the time to think about it, I realized how much of what Jesus says on his way to the cross is referencing and setting people's sights on the end of the world. This comment to the ladies fits into that same category. Jesus wanted to let the people there know that his act of sacrifice was nothing compared to the things that were to come. Perhaps he was especially thinking of all the lives that would be permanently lost- the people who would die refusing to accept or believe that he was real. It is a somber thought.
Jesus proceeds to provide comfort and provision for his mother. What a tender moment. It reminds me of several of my friends who also cherish their mothers. Mary was truly a blessed woman- God was taking special care of her from the beginning to the end. I can't help but wonder how much she really understood about everything that was taking place. I wish there was more in the Bible about her beyond what is written about Jesus' birth, but I guess some things must simply remain a mystery.
The most interesting quote of all the quotes is when we see Jesus question God. There is much that can be said about the mental process we see take place as Jesus makes his final remarks. Some people argue over what his words to God really mean. I chose to take them literally. I believe Jesus had to go through this internal struggle, feeling separated from God and heaven, to be able to relate to our pain- perhaps the most initmate experience he could ever share with us. There is no worse feeling than the feeling of hopelessness. No solution. No escape.
Jesus feels betrayed- abandoned by God. We too often feel this way when we go through a trial or something hard. We feel abandoned not only by God, but often by other people in our life. We ask God why? We feel alone. Let down. Jesus shows us a forgiving spirit by asking God to forgive those who are causing him pain. We also experience this stage when we go through grief or suffering. Once we stop asking why and get through the anger and frustration of our problem, we start trying to do the best we can to make things right. This often includes offering forgiveness to the thing or person who hurt us. We find ourselves needing to choose to let go of the negative emotions. We see Jesus finally do this as well. He commits his spirit to God. He lets go of control. He tells God that regardless of if things go how he expects, it will be okay. He surrenders. We too must reach this final step when we experience our trials in order to achieve true peace.
Every action, experience, and interaction Jesus ever had was to help him relate better to our pain. He died because we too someday will die. He felt the doubt that we face. What really happens when you die? We may have our theories, but we still wonder. Jesus wondered too.
Despite his doubts, he committed his spirit to God. Think about that.