…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2
By Fr. Brad Van Deventer
Today we find ourselves in the third Friday of Lent, and though we have made it through many days, we have many more to go. These are the hard days on our journey to Easter because, unlike the start of Lent (when we meditate on Jesus in the desert) and Holy Week (where we map out his last days), we don’t have a specific location or activity in which to place Jesus. All we know is that He had set his face towards Jerusalem, and was making His way to Golgotha.
Mile after mile He went, knowing what lay ahead of Him. Knowing that at the end of this road there loomed a moment when pain would envelope His body, and the wrath of God would come down like a hammer on His soul. Still He went, and not with slouched shoulders, or dragging feet, but with a determination that Paul refers to as “joy.” How?
How in the world could Jesus do this, and more importantly why would He do this? The answer is that He trusted the Father and knew that at the end of this affliction there was ultimate comfort.
Even though Friday would leave Him lifeless and sealed inside a grave, Sunday WOULD arrive, and at that moment, sin and death, the ultimate source of all pain and brokenness in the world, would lose its grip. Yes, Sunday would arrive, and Jesus would rise victorious and glorified. But, four weeks prior to that glorious day, there just lay a long and dusty road leading to horrors humanity will never comprehend.
Beating inside of the chest of Jesus was a love that spurred Him on, a love for the Father and a love for His children. He had a love that we may not be able to comprehend, but we have been offered every day since.
So, on this third Friday of Lent, when Easter Sunday may seem like a long way away. Remember that Easter Sunday WILL come. Our sacrifices (though nothing compared to what Jesus sacrificed) will be redeemed, and the joy of resurrection life, the joy of Jesus’ love, will flood over all the empty spaces that we have made, and cleaned out, over these forty days.