Thursday, April 09, 2009

Lenten Reading Mark 15: 33-47

Mark 15: 33-47

Have you ever seen someone die? I have. It doesn’t look like it does on TV. I read somewhere that the line between life and death is very fluid. That the only distinguishing feature is that the heart has stopped breathing.

I don’t know if that’s true, you’d have to ask a doctor or nurse about that.

In my job, I’m occasionally called upon to sit with a family as they turn off the respirator in the ICU. Or to say prayers as a loved one breathes so slowly that their slip into death is almost unnoticed.

Jesus’ death wasn’t like that. It was horrible. Painful. Lonely. Being in eyesight of his mother he probably felt for her grief, which would have added to his agony. Jesus’ death was violent and unjust.

Someone said that every death is a violent death. I think there’s something to that. Death, no matter how quick or quiet, is a emptying of a life. A presence. A relationship.

I think that’s why Jesus’ died so willingly. Not to satisfy the wrath of an angry god who can only be appeased by the death of an innocent. But because the only way to defeat the violence of death was to conquer it from within.

So, Jesus’ death wasn’t just the execution of social and religious radical. But the death that defeated Death. When his head dropped and his spirit left him, Jesus won a victory for the whole world.

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