This is Holy Wednesday. And the last day before four of the most important days in our faith begin.
But before we begin them, let's look at a few more Stations of the Cross.
Jesus has just fallen a second time and risen again on his walk to Calvary.
The Eighth Station is when the women of Jerusalem and their children come to Jesus to bless and thank him. Amidst all the chaos of this journey, they recognize his glory and want to thank him for being there with them, for healing the sick, for opening their heart. And what does Jesus feel? He feels sorry for leaving them. He knows his death will bring sadness and suffering, and even as he dies for us, he doesn't want to leave us.
The Ninth Station is when Jesus falls a third time. Here Jesus doesn't have the strength to move on. His killers help him back to his feet after this final fall and God's strength alone gets him to Calvary. God's strength, having to bring his own Son to death. Jesus is already humiliated and beaten down. He's pathetic for having fallen. He's a joke. They mock him with a "King of the Jews" sign. And then they strip him.
The Tenth Station is when Jesus is stripped. As if being whipped, spat on, jeered at, mocked, and laughed at wasn't enough, they make him even less dignified by stripping him before nailing him to the cross. Yet his eyes turn to Heaven.
But why? This man is on the brink of a painful, humiliating death for what? He has been disgraced enough, hasn't he? They never even brought any real charges against him. They never found anything in his past actions worthy of crucifixion. Yet he is crucified. Why?
Because crucixion was God's plan for our salvation. Jesus knew you already even though you weren't yet born. He knew you and was and is in love with you. And when they strip him, after all of this torture that he's already endured, he thinks of you. He turns to Heaven. And he believes that this will be worth it, for you. Not for all of mankind, although his sacrifice did save all of mankind. He didn't do it for the betterment of mankind. He did this; the journey, the torture,the crucifxion, the death, the Resurrection, for you.
We adore you,
O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy
cross you have redeemed the world.