There Was a Body

“So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross…”

[John 19:17]

—————————————-

There was a cross.

A beautiful cross.

Cedar. Pine. Cypress.

Living wood split wide,

cut and framed to carry death.

There was a cross.

A cross carried by a crowd-watcher,

Simon of Cyrene.

Compelled to help carry the load,

The weight of the world on that cross.

There was a cross,

That became a symbol,

We etch into our skin.

Of grace and giving and a big God who

wants us home

There was a cross.

But there was also a body on that cross.

His name is Jesus.

———————————————

Good Friday, I watched it come and go on instagram and facebook and the front lawn newspaper.

I shared too.

Tetelestai

His blood stained red 

It is finished

We grieved, we remembered, we paused for a second of our time.

And tomorrow we will rejoice.

He is risen

The tomb is empty 

Hope is Alive

And it’s true.

But as a mama, I’ve been sitting in holy weeks the last three years, and each passing year I feel the weight bear down a little stronger.

May I share with you?

——————————————

Shift to mother. Mary.

To the weeping women.

They saw a man, once son, on that cross. 

A body that once lived abundant.

That laughed with their children, that shared home cooked meals, that fished with their husbands, that played in the dirt, that built with his hands, that fought for the helpless, that smiled in their markets, that spoke hope into their fears, that knew their names, that cupped their tears, that sat in her lap, that listened to her lullaby, that nursed from her breasts and cried mama. 

 

There was a body on that cross.

His name is Jesus.

And he was birthed

for death,

for our life.

 

He had a family, friends.

He discipled. He led.

He nurtured. He communed.

He invited. He prayed.

He believed. He felt.

He breathed. He wept.

And then His body bled. 

————————————————————

There was a body on that cross.

And it begged for more.

His feet, made of bones and flesh, moving through Jeruselem

Once son to a mother, now Lamb to the slaughter.

Choosing sacrifice,

being followed, chased, and taunted to death.

 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”and to the hills, “Cover us!”’For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

He knew it would get worse.

He knows the world around me, smothered and face-planted in, and choosing sin.

Light fighting through the cracks.

I feel that lodge rising in my throat.

Maybe it’s just my nursing and hormonal self, but my husband confirmed it too.

Should we not be weeping, living, remembering, aching, on our knees, grace-receiving, hands opened up to heaven in praise-ing, even dancing and always thanking

this body on the cross

every single moment, 

by carrying our own?

 

He did not want our tears for him,

he didn’t need them.

His death was winning.

For the names he put to the tears,

he asked for the tears.

For our children.

For William, for Grayson.

For me, for you.

For all of those that came before and

all the wombs holding tomorrow.

——————————————————-

That cross held the body who bled for me.

His Tetelestai cry for the babies pulled

wide out of me into their own cries of

life

His hands held up by nails for every hurtful word I would say, every foolish act Jeff would take, every senseless death the news would see, every rejection and hypocrisy and  lie and sin you would lay before him in the dirt his blood spilled out on.

It is finished. 

Not just yesterday as we remembered,
Not just today as we wait,
Not just tomorrow as we rejoice,
No,
every day.

 

He begged for the weeping and the remembrance, knowing what would come.

I’m called to remember, to keep holy things holy, to honor that body that died for me.

It has taken me a long time, far too long, to stand weeping in confidence on the grace that comes from that body on the cross.

That grace has never meant my freedom to live as I please, to do as I wish, to live in a feel-good manner till I die.

That body spilled out that I may live

For Him

And I think we often miss the mark. 

The last few years I’ve had to shift my thinking.

To Mother. To the weeping women.

To Simon of Cyrene.

To open my eyes to the body

that carried the weight

of me.

——————————————–

How do we live remembering, not once a year, but with His big love etched into our skin every day and overflowing from our pores and our words and our actions and our story?

We become sensitive,

not desensitized as the world has become,

to the weight of His death.

Jesus spoke many riddles in His time and sometimes they confuse me still, but in this He was clear before His death, preemptive to what would come.

There was no gray.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

[Matthew 16:24-26]

He had angels at his beck and call weeping for him,

Yet he chose the cross before it thrust Him up into pain.

 

Yes.

The gospel is this,

He died that may I have life and a home with Him forever.

He died that His grace would cover my mess.

But we must remember the cross He asks us to carry home to Him.

 

So I will remember, in my weeping,

I will tender my heart as mother,

I will choose Simon’s eyes,

I will be sensitive to sin,

And softened to conviction,

I will raise littles on kindness,

And answer with truth,

I will choose peace over fear,

And prayer over worry,

I will tether my heart to His,

To his body on the cross that saved me.

 

There is nothing He can’t ask of me.

His death has won my life.

 

 

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