empathy 001

13. Jesus Dies on the Cross. I am John, one of his closest friends. I stood at the foot of his cross with his mother. I witnessed his struggle to breathe as he pushed himself up. It was painful beyond words, but he did not cry out. After a shallow breath, he would drop down, his arms stretched out on the crossbeam. He drifted in and out of consciousness. Sometimes he looked at us, sometimes he looked away. Sometimes he spoke for many to hear, sometimes he whispered to no one in particular. Then he quoted the psalm, uttering words so helpless and desolate. He felt so alone. And though we stood close by, we were helpless. I would have willingly died with him that day. Yet he died to show what God was willing to give up to win us back from death and selfishness and sin. He died that we would not have to die. He died that we might live.

We pray. My Jesus, as you hung upon the cross, you shared with me an experience totally alien to your nature as God. You experienced a distance much like the consequence of sin. You did not know sin, yet you experienced the loneliness and grief that grips my heart when I turn my back on you. Do not abandon me in my moment of darkness. You are not dissuaded when I resist your grace. Indeed, while I was still a sinner, you healed me. How can I ever think you would give up on me?

Rolo B Castillo © 2014