Ninth Station of the Cross: Jesus falls a third time

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.
– Jesus, Luke 17.33 

Tradition says that Jesus fell for a third and final time. This is such a poignant depiction of Jesus’ humanity as well as the physical representation of the abused and ignored presence of God. None of those people persecuting and abusing Christ saw God. Had they, it would have ended immediately. They weren’t evil; just blind and oblivious. Jesus proclaimed it powerfully, “They know not what they do.”

We all have many areas where we, like them, don’t see Christ: finances, family, sex, politics, work, and/or school. Even our religion can become so focused on opinion and “right-thinking” that we no longer see God, we see doctrine and theological arguments. We fight, scream, accuse, condescend, gossip, and demean like He’s not right there, right now. We tear at the Reality of His presence in all and through all. And still, Christ powerfully intercedes, revealing the heart our Father, “They know not what they do.”

Where is the presence of Christ being ignored and blindly punished in your life?

As a Christian, I am entrusted with the knowledge of God’s abiding love and presence in all and through all. Whatever other knowledge I think my faith gives me falls second to this.

For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. — 1 Corinthians 8.6

Jesus lived from this Reality, which is why Isaiah prophesied about the Christ, “He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” When we finally see that God is all and in all and through all, we will instinctively and naturally emulate the active peacefulness which Christ reveals to us.

Do we view people and circumstances as inconveniences, oblivious to God’s presence? Or do we trust and love in the abiding Life of Christ within and around us?

“Christ Jesus, grant me the conviction of Your abiding love and presence and the courage to participate with You in every moment, in every place.”

Josh Pinkston