We think about sacrifice, sitting with the heartache and suffering of Good Friday before the relief and rejoicing of resurrection on Easter Sunday. Can we appreciate the hills without the valleys? Could Jesus have related to humankind unless he endured suffering? In this week’s character monologue, the thief on the cross reflects on Jesus’ stepping down from glory in order to relate to him.
Bible reading: Mark 15:33-39 (NIV)
The death of Jesus
33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’).
35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he’s calling Elijah.’
36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,’ he said.
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’
Voices: Here and there
Today’s here and there voices from Roots share the thoughts from a bereaved member of a congregation and the thief on the cross beside Jesus.
1) What do you feel or think about the idea of Jesus being able to relate to our personal pain and suffering because of the crucifixion, and all that came before it?
2) Discuss the conversation between Jesus and the thief on the cross, and what it may mean to you.
3) How might Jesus’ suffering and death speak to someone who has been bereaved?
Today’s reflection is from the Roots Here and There reflections for Lent. You can find the full text for the reflections for Holy Week plus suggestions for hymns, prayer and follow-up activity online at https://www.rootsontheweb.com/i-am-looking-for/resources-for-lent-2021