The End of the Road
Luke’s Gospel makes a dramatic turn near the end of chapter nine. Luke writes, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51) From that moment on, the entire narrative flows towards the events of what we now call Holy Week: Jesus triumphal entry, his teaching in Jerusalem, his last supper with his disciples, his betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion and death, and three days later, Jesus’ resurrection.
As we near the end of our Lenten journey – a journey follows Jesus in turning toward the cross – it is easy to grow weary as the road gets more difficult, more and more demanding. At the end of this road, we reach the end of ourselves. That is the cross. The solemn words of Ash Wednesday – “Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return” – reach completion at the cross. The cross is the end.
We spend a good deal of time and energy to avoid thinking about “the end.” So, this end of the Lenten journey makes us uncomfortable. Yet, because we make this journey with Jesus, we do not have to face the end on our own. In fact, Jesus goes before us, experiencing the loss of everything and end of all things, even the silence of heavenly in the sight of his suffering, even the end of his life, his spirit.
To journey with Jesus through the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday is to stare into the deepest and darkest abyss of the human experience, but to gather at Easter Vigil to see if God answers, to see if God cares, to see if there is any hope is to experience the brightest joy when we hear the news: “Christ is Risen!”
Jesus Christ died for us, and Jesus Christ rose for us. In him we meet our end, in him we receive God’s new life and new creation. God loves us this much. I invite you to experience all that Christ has done for us in bringing us through death to eternal life. Holy Week and Easter is the end of our Lenten journey. But it’s the beginning of our eternal life together in God future.
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