|photo by Jim Forest / flickr|
the scorn of men,
despised by the people. All
who see me scoff at me;
they mock me with parted
lips, they wag their heads..."
--Psalm 22. 7-8
We are at mid-point in our journey. It takes a long time to get to Calvary.
Some of us know that.
But wait. Jesus falls--falls a second time?
I can understand that first fall. Delirious with pain, having not slept but beaten throughout the night--no wonder he fell. But Jesus, Jesus falling a second time.
Simon had helped him with his load for a while. But then he was gone and Jesus struggled under his cross-load.
It was too much. Sometimes even Jesus knew that life often was just too, too much. What was that line from Green Pastures? "Even bein' God ain't a bed a' roses."
So here as he falls--humiliated and weak--he is one with the whole human race.
Old time Baptists were wrong. We really do fall from grace--all of us. Even when the grace is amazing we stumble and fall and we are ashamed. Again and again and again. It's not only drunks that fall off the wagon.
Sometimes the limits of life are just impossible. The man with cancer. The woman raped and forced to bear the child. The father with no job and no prospects. The druggy that cannot give it up. The sad, tired refugee who has no place to lay his/her/their head. Or the little child spit on at school by the bullies for being cross-eyed or black or crippled or stuttering or just standing there.
The list goes on and on. The fallen ones. Samaritans and Publicans and Centurions and adulterers and a syro-phoenician woman and tax collectors and lepers and all those that gave up the fight.
He is one with all who have fallen through history--which means a whole lot.
The crushed, the beaten-down, the disgraced know about this second fall.
On the ground, hard and cruel, Jesus is one with them and us too.
Remember that verse in Psalms: "The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down." (Ps. 145.14)
I claim that verse for all the fallen ones and those yet-to-fall. I claim it for you and for me and the pock-marked church and for the whole wide world.
Black folk, out of the agony of their fallings put it into a song: "His eye is on the sparrow and I know he cares for me."
On the ground tasting dirt and dust--our Savior lay. Remember this was only mid-point in his journey and ours too. Like Jesus we have a long way to go.
--Roger Lovette / rogerlovette.blogspot.com