Sunday, March 31, 2019

Communion Talk - "It is Well with my Soul"

There was Jesus nailed to a cross bringing forgiveness to the world.

There was a lot of commotion and noise; for some this was just a community event to go along and see what might happen - the latest crucifixion of some poor criminal who upset Rome. Soldiers were gambling over Jesus' clothes. Others, such is human nature at times, were mocking Jesus and his claims to kingship.

But there were a few paying special, more deeper, attention. Through it all ... their eyes were on Jesus.

There was one Roman centurion, who was no doubt feeling lost in life, despite his lofty position, carefully watching this crucifixion scene; and what he saw was innocent suffering, and he probably also heard Jesus' words of forgiveness from the cross - forgiving those who had put him there - which included this centurion himself. Emotionally gathered into the depth of this scene of Divine sacrifice, this Roman centurion said, "Truly this man was God's Son".

There was some women there at the foot of the cross, and at some point ... the disciple John as well. One of these women was Jesus' mother Mary (who we are led to conclude was a widow by this time) - and despite having other family, was still somehow potentially at risk of loneliness and homelessness. As Mary looked up and grieved what was happening to her son, Jesus looked down, and created a new support base around Mary. The disciple John would take her into his own home, and John would become like her son.

Despite the mocking of the other criminal, the one on the other nearby cross ... also watched Jesus. And he was so mightily impressed by what he witnessed, he threw himself on Jesus' mercy. That man recognised God in Jesus - what humility, what beauty! And Jesus responded to this man with a totally new outlook for him ... with the most beautiful picture of hope: "Today you will be with me in paradise".

For the Roman centurion, for Mary the mother of Jesus, for the criminal on the nearby cross - it would, now, be well with their soul!

We too can embrace Jesus, wherever life has placed us, whatever we are feeling about our circumstances. Jesus is reaching down, and across, to us ... with grace!

Through all of life's challenges, I invite you to keep your eyes on Jesus.

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