WARNING: The image the image in this post shows terrible bodily injury and blood.
It’s fair to ask, “Why are we here?”
Why do we return to Golgotha year after year? Why return to the cross again and again? What use is it?
This is from an article posted by Reuters about this photograph:
"When he first felt the ground shaking, Reuters photographer Mohamed Azakir thought Beirut had been struck by an earthquake. Then he heard the explosion. Grabbing his camera, Azakir rushed out into the streets, trying to locate the source of the blast.
"When he reached the port, he realized he was close. Dead bodies lay everywhere, and people were screaming. Azakir saw one man, pinned under a vehicle, covered in a thick film of rubble and blood. At first, Azakir thought the man was dead. But then the man opened his eyes and began waving his arms and asking for help.
"Azakir called over some rescuers who were nearby. In a series of dramatic photographs, he recorded the rescue of the man, while also helping the rescuers move the car to free him. He took pictures of the man being transferred to a stretcher and taken away, black smoke still billowing from wrecked silos in the background.
"Beirut’s deadliest peace-time explosion was caused after ammonium nitrate being stored near the port ignited. The blast on August 4, 2020 killed at least 145 people, injured 5,000, and left a quarter of a million homeless.
"'It was like a horror movie filmed in a devastated city,' said Azakir."
Like a horror movie in a devastated city. Good Friday is like this. It takes the world that most of us cling to—the mundane and mostly harmless world most of us navigate day in and day out—and Good Friday pulls back the curtain. And, unlike an explosion, which overtakes us whether we like it or not, we have the choice to look behind the curtain or to just squeeze our eyes shut tight until Easter. If we choose to look behind the curtain, to come back to the foot of the cross, we see that we are in fact walking through the valley of the shadow of death, that we are always walking through it, but we don’t always know it.
And that’s the way it should be. We shouldn’t live every day in a horror movie filmed in a devastated city. But I think, every once in a while, we should peek behind the curtain at the nearness of brutality, the closeness of suffering, and the inevitability of death. If we’ve been lucky enough to avoid these things, we should thank God and remember that one day our turn will come.
If we have suffered these things, we don’t come to the foot of the cross to relive them. We come to be comforted by the knowledge that God has also lived them and that God has even died with this pain we carry. We come not to reopen our wounds, but to live with them.
Let us pray:
Jesus, why are we here? We are here because you are here. Amen.
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Jesus the Imagination
Thoughts and dreams, musings and meditations