It is for us!
A Lenten reflection of Jesus’ Victory on the Cross
Finally we are in the last stretch of the season of Lent. As we grow closer to the Easter Triduum, we continue to reflect on the events that lead to the death of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We remember the betrayals of Judas and Peter, the mockery of the crowd, the scourging of the soldiers, and even the washing of hands by Pilate. We reflect on all the bad things that were done to Jesus, even the jealousy and insecurities of the priests and scribes, which were the root of it all.
But as we see the impending and inevitable death of Jesus slowly coming forth from the background, let us keep in mind the very important TRUTH that the crucifixion was not an act concluded in sorrow and defeat. On the contrary, a celebration of joy and victory!
In the midst of emotional distress and His final hour at Gethsemane, Jesus knew that before the war was over, He would be taken captive. He knew that before victory, would come defeat. He knew that before the throne, would come the cup (of the hatred and death He had to experience). He was in so much agony that “His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)
But even when Jesus knew what would happen to Him, He was praying for God’s people. In the dawn of His suffering and death, Jesus prayed for us.
“I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in Me because of their teaching.” (John 17:20)
This is us! With this act… in this situation, we need to realize and remember of the greatness of Jesus’ love for us. As Jesus looked into heaven and prayed, we were in His vision. He dreamed of the day when we will be where He is. He saw us there with Him.
His final prayer was about us! His final pain was for us! His final passion was us!
And so it happened! With the acceptance of His death on the cross, an angel of mercy came over Jesus. While thinking of our salvation He stood there, torment gone from His eyes and only faith filled His heart. He was ready. And by this time, the battle had been won!
We may have thought that the war was won on Golgotha. We may have thought the sign of victory was the empty tomb. But rest assured that victory against sin was won over in Gethsemane, and the sign of conquest was Jesus at peace in the garden.
For it was in the Garden of Gethsemane that He made His decision… He would rather go to hell for us than go to heaven without us.