Here we are comemmorating another Easter on Sunday. The week leading up to and Sunday is the most important in my Christian life. Jesus knew what was coming and loved us so much that He didn't run from it. My favorite daily inspiration (besides the Bible) comes via e-mail; a devotional I receive fromt the Purpose Driven Life. I'm going to put it in for the next three days. I hope I'm not stepping on any toes at PDL for doing this:
The most precious drops in the world
by John Fischer
(Part I of a three-part series of historical fiction around the events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.)
"The wounds on his hands bled slowly. Pressure from the weight of his body held back the flow. If there had been no other sounds that afternoon, it probably would have sounded like the slow, steady drip off the eaves of a mountain cabin on a damp, foggy night.
But there were many sounds. Taunts from the soldiers, weeping and wailing from the women near the feet of Jesus, even careless laughter from children playing haphazardly around the perimeter of the crucifixion hill, oblivious to the significance of this particular execution. Small dark puddles would gather briefly under the top beam of the cross, only to be covered by the shuffle of a guard’s feet. And then it would start in again: drip … drip … drip – little droplets seen but not heard.
Mary saw them. She stared at the puddle through her bloodshot eyes while his life flashed before her, and it seemed to her that the earth swallowed His blood as if it had been created for this. As if it were drinking its fill and would thirst no more. Then she slowly turned her eyes up to his face, and her breath failed her. He already had her in the grasp of his eyes. It was the first time He had looked at her from the cross, and suddenly it seemed as if she were falling into a bottomless abyss. She looked until she could bear it no more and turned her eyes away so she could catch her breath again. Once more her gaze went to the small puddle in the dirt, and it seemed now that she, and only she, could hear the droplets landing, loud enough to shut out all other sounds.
She heard His words spoken to her: “Dear woman, here is your son.” And to the disciple he loved, “Here is your mother.”
Soon after that, the dripping stopped, right after the earth shook and Jesus cried out with a voice that nearly shut down Mary’s heart for good. And all was still except for the sucking, sporadic breathing coming from the other two criminals.“This one’s already dead,” said one of the guards. “Can you believe that?” “No need to break his legs, I guess,” said another.
“Well, just to make sure …” One of them approached the dead body of Jesus with his spear, and before Mary could scream out, “No!” he thrust its tip up into the torso of the Son of God just under the ribs. Her scream and the sudden flow of blood and water came out at the same time.
Disgusted, the guard wiped a few drops from his face and walked away, oblivious to the fact that these were drops of blood that could set him free forever."
Lord, Jesus, if I praise you continuously from now until the end of my life, it will never be enough thanks for loving me so much that You were willing to suffer and die the way you did on the cross. I love you, Jesus, with all my heart!