How many of you have every heard of the painting, “Christ as Man of Sorrows” by Andrea Mategna?
Take a moment to soak in the image. Christ’s face, the wounds on His hands and feet, the look of the Cherubim and Seraphim, the people working in the background. The sky, in the immediate forefront forecasting doom and gloom, and on the horizon, light and hope.
Today is Good Friday.
Over two millennia ago, at noon, a darkness “came over the land,” (Mark 15:33) and in the 3 PM hour on that day, He breathed His last.
The day Christ died was a day filled with hatred. We see the hatred mirrored in the actions of the crowds surrounding Him. We see the hatred in the taunting of one of the thieves on the neighboring cross. And, we see the hatred in the manner of Christ’s crucifixion.
Yet, the day Christ died was also filled with love. We see the love and compassion in the example of Veronica, who risked her own life to wipe Our Lord’s brow. We see the shining example of Mary and the disciple John, both of whom stayed by Christ’s side. And, we see love in the way Jesus’ dead body was cared for after His death.
Today, I am going to spend time reflecting on Christ as Man of Sorrows. I am going to be reflecting on His wounds – the ones put there by those during His time, and more importantly, the ones I put there when I choose to sin.
Will I be whipping Him with my words, thoughts, and actions, and driving His nails deeper into His hands and feet? Or, will I be a Veronica, offering Him sweet relief with my words, thoughts and actions, not just today, but every day?
I am going to spend time asking how I can ensure I am leading a life worthy of His Ultimate Sacrifice.
Join me today in contemplating the Passion and Death of Christ.