Oh Come, Let Us Adore Him

For the third year in a row, I have watched The Passion of the Christ on Good Friday. For the third year in a row, I have cried like a baby. But I think I cried harder this time than any other time I watched it.

Looking back, I can see little signs of how God has begun to prepare me for last night, but little could prepare me for the stark understanding of the truth that flooded my heart as all the little things culminated in the viewing of that movie. Jesus has been using Mary to teach me about the Annunciation (post in progress!) and about the beautiful mystery it was, and I have been drawn more and more to songs by Kelly Pease and Danielle Rose from Mary's point of view, to a deeper understanding of how His whole life led to calvary and how painful that road would been, especially for those dearest and closest to Him.

LAst year, I expected to walk the sorrowful road with Mary, but instead walked with John and Magdalene. This year, I walked both with and beside Mary and learned more profoundly than ever just how she draws us to Her son.

As I mentioned before, I have felt Mary drawing me to better understand the Annunciation and that has been powerful, and it was only marginally on my mind when I entered the Good Friday service yesterday. But something jumped out at me, something my dear friend Leah mentioned last year: When the crucifix is processed into the church and we are invited to gaze upon and venerate the cross on which hung our salvation, our response is "Oh come, let us adore." Now, I don't know about you, but that phrase always brings to mind the Christmas Carol, and I found myself humming it several times yesterday, and I began to berate myself for it until I realized that is exactly the point. The same Jesus the shepherds came to adore, whom the magi revered is hanging upon the cross. As we approach the coarse and humble manger and the young mother offering her infant child to strangers for their adoration, so too should we approach the coarse and bloody cross and the weeping mother cradling the lifeless body of her Son.

Just as she beckons us to come adore Him as a smiling, happy, bright-eyed child, so too should we come adore the lifeless, bloodied, and cold body of our Lord. She cradled Him in his birth and infancy and offers Him to us, and she cradles Him in His adulthood and death and offers Him to us. This gift - this miracle - she was given is not selfishly kept but freely offered - to the poor, to the gentile, to the faithful, to the killers, to the saint, to the sinner, to you, and to me.

As I watched the Passion last night, I walked with Mary, and she showed me His humanity. His smile, His bright eyes, His laughter. At every step, she saw not only the man, the Son of God, that He was, but she saw her Child, her Baby Boy. When she wiped up His blood, she knew she was going to bury the baby she bore; when the lash tore His skin, she recalled how soft and smooth it was until it formed the callouses of a hard worker; when he was mocked, she recalled His miracles, when He cried out for mercy on those nailing Him to the tree, she heard His first words as a child and His words to the crowds; when she went forth to kiss His feet, she remembered counting His baby toes and kissing those tiny feet.

When she looked on the cross, she did not see the savior of the world first, she saw her son - flesh of her flesh, blood of her blood, heart of her heart, and she wept to see it so abused, and she wished that it was her flesh torn, her blood, spilled  for her heart was already broken, and His pain was washing through her as it did Him. When He looked at her and told her what she must then do - not die yet but to take His beloved disciple as hers, she recalled the words she spoke to the Angel: "Be it done unto me according to your word" and she recalled the words of Simeon saying that her heart would be pierced so that the thoughts of all hearts would be revealed, and she knew then the price of being the Mother of God. The pain she suffered could not be physical as her Son's, for she had to be a Mother still. But her heart surely was pierced as she watched
her Son suffer and die.

And so, our Mother stays by His side, cradles His body, and accepts John - and, by proxy, all of Jesus' beloved disciples - as her children. She takes as children those whom her Son's spirit lives in and beackons us to come adore Him who saves in all stages of His life and death.

So come, join your Mother at the foot of the cross and adore Him with her.

Comments

  1. Those are some of my favorite and some of the most heart-wrenching scenes for me every time I watch The Passion. Wow.

    The scene that has really drawn my attention this year, though, is when they are nailing him to the cross and he prays, "Abba, Abba," through his pain. It pierces my soul like nothing else and it is /that/ scene that makes me cry aloud.

    Then there is the part before the scourging begins when he looks up to heaven and says, "Father, my heart is ready." Blows me away.

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  2. Amazed at His goodness... and blessed to have shared those tears Friday. Love you.

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