Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter reflections

Throughout Easter I kept being drawn back to this photo. I looked at it during church and multiple times later in the day. 

I don’t claim to have any ability as a photographer, but I love this picture. I took it a couple of years ago in Bolivia on Good Friday. The children at the orphanage I was visiting acted out the Stations of the Cross. Many of the roles were portrayed by girls. The drawn-on beard makes me unable to be sure who this girl was, but that is not really important. There is just something touching about the innocence in her face that I cannot get out of my mind.

Sunday evening some friends, Susie, and I watched the final episode of the History Channel’s The Bible. Like Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, it attempted to depict the horror and cruelty of crucifixion. They both manage to convey that aspect of the event, but left me feeling like something was missing.

I think the pendulum may have swung too far toward the pain and suffering aspect of the crucifixion. I often hear phrases like, “the most painful death possible” or “suffering that no one else has endured.” I don’t know that those claims are true. Rome crucified lots of people in similar fashion and other forms of execution may even be crueler or more painful.

The girl in this photo is at an orphanage, so there definitely has been pain and suffering in her life. At the same time, however, there is an innocence, a serenity in her face. So too, I think that during Jesus’ suffering there was some sense of serenity in knowing that because of His innocence of sin, what He set out to accomplish was about to be completed.

I am grateful for, and must not forget, the suffering. At the same time, when I look on that innocent face, through the drawn-on cuts, bruises and beard, I see a glimpse of the serenity of Jesus’ face. 

It is finished, paid in full. Amen. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Bill, and I see beauty in the continuity.
    She is learning of His death for her, and will live
    to tell it again and again, I pray.
    May He share His love with all the orphaned children in the deepest and most profound ways.
    God bless you,
    and may God bless all the "least of these".