Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church…
One more day. A few more hours. A couple more minutes.
The joy of wrapping things up. Of finishing strong. Competing well. Seeing things through.
The anticipation of rest. Of a good meal. The best. Of the company of those you love, of those who know you best.
How can there be another round? How can I possibly do one more day?
Questions we ask when we are truly spent.
To be in Christ’s Passion is to think that there can’t possibly be more. That this, this very moment, has to be the end.
But Christ continues. So does His Passion.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
—2 Corinthians 12:9
He’s sweating blood in the garden. He’s scourged at the pillar. He’s crowned with sharp thorns.
He carries His cross. He’s stripped. He’s nailed.
He hangs for hours, for all passing by to see.
But He hangs not alone.
A powerful woman, a tender-hearted disciple, a handful of faithful women, a couple of good law-abiding men, a few soldiers doing their duty, an evolving circle of “innocent” bystanders, and of course, a hoard of mockers. They are all on hand.
Yes, the mockers, they are there for sure. But they don’t stay the entire time. Their shame shows them the door.
The evil spirits, on the other hand, they stay till the end. Taunting. Challenging. Hating Christ’s inevitable victory over death:
“Come off that cross, you coward! Fight like a man!”
There are times when laughs and cries sound very much the same. When the heart bursts forth from the valley of death.
“Is he laughing?”
“Is he crying?”
“Has he gone insane?”
Or has he finally finished taking upon Himself all the blame?
“It is finished.”
And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
And that was just the beginning.
Almost like the first week of school.
Now all of Jesus’ younger siblings get to follow His rule:
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”