One central message of Easter seems to be:
“The only way out is through.”
The only way to get to the Resurrection
is through the Cross.
In short, the only way to get out of pain
is to go through it—
not around it.
Make no mistake:
Pain and suffering are not good.
We mustn’t go out of our way
to create or increase it in our lives
or in others around us.
We embrace pain and go through it
only the way Jesus did:
To accept it only when it comes
and to choose it
only for the purpose of helping
or saving others.
Let us pause here awhile
and pray over the scenes
showing how our Lord Jesus
experienced this passage from Calvary
through Calvary to the Resurrection,
as depicted in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”
The scene begins
with a single teardrop falling from heaven:
The teardrop is from the Father,
Who has never abandoned His Son,
Who stood watch over His Son
as we were being redeemed.
And at the foot of Jesus’ cross
was his mother Mary,
ever in pursuit of Jesus,
never giving up
even when she did not understand,
perhaps repeatedly disillusioned,
but never quite disenchanted
and certainly never dismayed.
Let us be there at the scene
of our redemption.
Stay here in prayer
as long as you want
as you pray to this music.
If you wish, say the following words
in prayer to the Lord,
feeling free to add your own.
Light of the World,
for your Good Friday gift of love
and your Easter Sunday gift of life.
Help me always to recognize
that you are ever near–
because you have already closed
every distance between us.
Help me to believe in myself
and my capacity to be kind and loving–
because you have already washed me clean
with your precious blood.
Help me to keep the faith
in myself–that I can change the world–
even if only one person at a time.
Thanks to your love,
we can never stray too far,
and we can never fall beyond
the embrace of the Father.
Keep me always in your everglow.
Song: “Everglow” (Coldplay)