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Lenten Reflection -
March 13, 2013

John 5:19-29

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In Lent, we are on a journey with Jesus to the cross. As we go forward on this journey with Him, the cross comes closer and closer, looms larger and larger. We have gone far in this journey, but we still have a ways to go. We can hear the whispering of the temple authorities, trying to get rid of Jesus. But today, we have a little glimpse of what comes when our journey is done, after we have stood at the foot of the cross.

With the Jews seeking all the more to kill Him, as He stands in the shadow of His own death, Jesus tells us about life. Jesus tells us that He gives life. Jesus tells us that we, who are dead without Him, we who hear His voice, will live. When we hear His voice and believe that He is the Son of God, we are saved from the judgement that will come through the Son at the end times. When we hear Jesus' voice and believe that He is God's Son, believe that He came from the Father, that He is one with the Father, we are raised from the dead - we pass from the death that is part of our humanity to the life that can come only from God.

So we must listen for that voice - the voice that calls us to Him, the voice that calls us out of the darkness of our sin into the marvelous light of God's mercy. We must listen for the voice that by all rights should judge us and send us away, but instead calls us quietly to believe, and to live. And we must not only listen, but we must also look - look for the works that the Father does, the works that are shown through the Son. We must look at the cross, we must look to the cross, where the Son, who judges, takes the judgement meant for us on Himself and redeems us. What greater work can there be than this?

That the Son loves us enough to lay down that life that He has been given by the Father so that we may pass from death to life, is astonishing. We are astonished by that. We are not astonished by the judgement - we know we deserve that. But we are astonished that, through our belief in Jesus, we do not come under that judgement, we are not condemned to death. Instead, we are given the life that comes from the Father, through the Son. And as we listen for His voice, and as we look to the cross, we are compelled to proclaim. Our astonishment makes us willing, driven, to tell the world that they, too, can be a witness to and a beneficiary of God's great, astonishing work on the cross, if they will only believe. Then they, too, can come out of their graves by hearing His voice and pass from death to life.

Let us pray:
O Heavenly Father, O Astonishing Son, grant us the grace to hear Your voice, come out of our graves, and live. Amen.

Rev. Jill Stellman
Assisting Priest, Cathedral of All Saints


Photo of cross credit Fr. Tom Trees, Associate, Church of the Ascension, Lafayette, LA

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