December 14, 2017

Stations of the Cross: The Sixth Station

A Series for Holy Week.
Thanks to Lisa Dye for leading us in today’s meditation.

THE SIXTH STATION
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

Scripture

For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6, NIV


Meditation
The glory of God in the bloody agonized face of Christ? Is that what Veronica saw as she stood in the crowd and watched Jesus labor toward her under the burden of the cross? By the time he reached her, his back was flayed open and streaming. A thorny crown pierced his skull and rivulets of blood mixed with sweat coursed down his face and neck. Shock made him able to focus only narrowly. Moved by compassion, Veronica stepped forward into his line of vision and entered a holy moment when Jesus stood dulled to the murmuring crowd, yet keenly conscious of her. In their brief exchange, passion flowed from one to the other and back again.

What message did Christ convey as he staggered under his cross and stood staring at the woman who dared to unfasten her veil in a public place? Woman, I come at the impulse of the Father to befriend you, to tell you of His great love for you. I bear this cross for you.

What did she think as with gentle hands she wiped his bloody face and gazed gratefully, lovingly, desperately into eyes that made her know beyond doubt that God indeed had come into the world bodily and that he stood before her letting her touch his face? Lord, let me dwell in your house all my days and look upon your beauty.

Then Jesus pressed his face into the cloth of Veronica’s veil. In that small act, he foreshadowed the coming union with his beloved. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them. (See John 17:23-26 NIV)

Action
The press of circumstances and the madness of my moments wrestle me constantly, making every attempt to steal away my knowledge of God’s glory. Tragedies arise and sins (mine and others’) abound making God’s glory difficult for me to see. Burdens beset me and weaknesses lay me low. The flame of God’s glory often seems only an ember or extinguished altogether. How can I keep his glory always before me, in the midst of every trial, every mad moment, every tragedy, burden or weakness? By remembering where his glory is revealed – in the face of Christ. It’s in his face I see God’s love, furious and tender, completely jealous and altogether outrageous, manifested in his utter obedience to suffer on my behalf. I will look into his beautiful, bloody glorious face.

Prayer
Jesus, I want to be the one who steps out of the crowd to come and touch your face. I want to see clearly the weight of your suffering for me as I look into your eyes. Let me take off my veil and stand before you taking in the Father’s glory and being transformed into your likeness. Let me demonstrate to others a measure of the extravagant love you have lavished on me.

Chorus
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Comments

  1. Sherrill Schlimpert says:

    This devotion so moved me. I had forgotten about Veronica, and yet it is these small moments when we see Jesus face to face, when we take time to reach out to him, that He always meets us. This story was meant for us.
    Thanks Lisa, for reminding me. (I can’t wait to meet you on April 17!)

    Sherrill Schlimpert
    Life Purpose Coach, Life Plan Facilitator, Instructor
    Life Purpose Coaching Centers, Intl.