"that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you,
being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend
with all the saints what is the
breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." ( Ephesians 3:17-19)
"Oh, my Lord, the dawn of your death day!
The sky is grey, the roofs of Jerusalem dark in the grey, and the street at your feet is dim.
You walk from the high priest's house to the Praetorium. Are you tired? Have you slept at all?
You ate last night—but that was last night. You prayed last night an exhausted prayer. And last night you endured a long, malign investigation—you alone, and none beside you to support you. You suffered conventional gestures of contempt and official rejection: the death sentence, acoomponid by degrading games. Did they wash your face from their spittle? No. It sticks to you still. To them you are a pariah, unclean in blasphemy. Why should they watch you? Why should they feed you? Why should they give you something to drink? To them you are a problem to be solved.
To me you are the Lord.
The city scarcely stirs, but here come the rulers with you in the midst. Serious faces. Where are they going? To the governor's forum. The Romans begin their work-day frightfully early, so the council is hurrying, lest they miss their chance for and audience and a quick imperial trial. Go! Go! They prod you from behind. Go, don't drag your feet! What's the matter with you? Tired? They themselves are filled with hectic energy. Sleeplessness has nerved them, and their purpose verges on frenzy. Go!
Jesus, how do you feel? What are you thinking? You don't talk. You mouth has been closed for such a long time now. Last night, before the legal machinery caught hold of you and began to grind you in its wheels, you said your soul was sorrowful, even unto death—and then your eyes revealed grief. I saw it. But now, in the dawn of your death day, your face is expressionless. I can read nothing in your eyes. Jesus! Jesus! How do you feel right now? What moods contend within you? What worlds collide inside your soul? O Jesus, are you hating? Are you praying? Are you screaming silently? Are you thinking about me right now?
You walk, step by weary step, from Jerusalem to Rome, around the world, from life to death, away, away. Away from me. Away from my knowing, into mystery. O Jesus, it terrifies me that you go so far away from me! Please, give me a sign! I really can't stand this not knowing. Give me some sign from your solitude, Lord, please, please, that you are thinking of me.
Lord Jesus, do you love me now?
Wordlessly, Jesus answers:
The walking itself is the sign, child.The loneliness which I have chosen, and the cross that closes it—these are the signs that I love you ever. I have to leave you to love you best. I go where I want you never to go, precisely because I love you.
Can you say "Amen" to that?"
~Walter Wangerin Jr., Reliving the Passion