The road to life must first lead to the Cross before it leads to the empty tomb.
I would so prefer to avoid that part of the journey. I’d much rather skirt the mount of blood and pain and dying, and skip unawares straight to a garden of light and freedom. But there are no detours past the gateway of death. All must enter through its shadow.
Lord, remind me that You are there with each footfall. You never ask me to take even one step that You have not already traversed. Nor do You abandon me to walk this journey alone.
Faithful Companion, You are constant in Your presence and Your care as You prod me toward Golgotha. You willingly bear each agonizing moment upon Your torn and bleeding back. With ever-watchful eyes, You beg me to stay as You bleed out this love-life on my behalf.
As much as I want to turn aside and close my eyes and heart against the horror of Your suffering, I cannot. Like Simon of Cyrene, I am compelled to stoop near Your broken and bloodied body to carry this beam of death and life. In thinking I am helping You, I realize You are the One sustaining us both. It is Your love and strength which steadies the load and enables the task of bearing so great a burden.
Thorn-pieced brow wipes against my hand, bringing comfort even here. Here on the Via Dolorosa — this way of suffering — You look deep into my darkness and see the light of resurrection ripping temple veil. Dismantling my soul, tearing apart the lies, and searing sin with a glory that is all Your own. Destroying death’s grip with a love strong enough to shake the gates of hell itself and release humanity’s soul for good.
Sweet Savior, stay my feet from wandering to a way that seems safe and free of struggles. Keep me here beside You as You surrender Yourself to cross beams’ hold for a moment so You can embrace me in Your love forever.
May I be one who lingers long at the scene of dying until the work here is finished. Then may I be the first to hear You call my name beyond tomb’s cocoon as I rise to step into resurrection’s glow.
Lead on, conquering Savior.
As You will.
Where You will.
Keep me close beside You along the way . . . through death and into life.