Nothing will bring us closer to Jesus than reflecting on the Passion, for His suffering reveals His heart. It is all about having a fresh vision of the Man of Sorrows and hearing Him speak to the heart: “Do you love Me? Where I am, My servant also will be.”
In her prayers, songs and writings, Mother Basilea bears witness to this greatest expression of God’s love. And wherever the Sisterhood has established a Canaan center, there is usually a prayer garden with reliefs depicting the passion of Jesus, for a visible representation can help to deepen our understanding.
Jesus longs for us to give Him all our love in response to His love and suffering. This is how in Phoenix, Arizona, a Garden of Jesus’ Sufferings and Resurrection came to be built by the Sisters of Mary with their friends.
Come and discover it for yourself…
Jesus knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (from Luk. 22 NIV)
You are the Good Shepherd. From now on I am going to listen to Your voice, not to the insinuations of the evil one. You loved me enough to go to Gethsemane, the place of total surrender, making Yourself vulnerable. You did not run away when the powers of death attacked. You wrestled in spirit with them – all because You love me.
Thank You for the assurance that in all my trials and temptations I am in Your loving hands. I want to trust in Your love and follow You step by step in obedience to Your Word and guidance. Amen.
He stands before His judges,
the spotless Lamb divine;
They spit on Him and mock Him,
He bears your sins and mine.
He suffers for my sinning,
My Jesus, Lord of all,
And in my place most humbly
Stands in the judgment hall.
Accusations, spoken and unspoken, bombarded Jesus on His way to the cross. He bore the brunt of our criticizing. He took the place that we have deserved; the place of the accused. What skilled defense lawyers we are when we come under attack. For every criticism, we have a quick retort. Adverse criticism brings out the pride in our hearts. When Jesus was accused, what came out was His humility. He stood trial and faced false accusations without sinning once in His reactions. He lived out His words, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matt.11:29 NIV). How do we respond when unkind or untrue things are said about us?
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt. 11:19 NIV
Because Jesus loves His followers so much, He has promised to share everything with them, including the fellowship of His sufferings. This is why He said, “Where I am, my servant also will be” (John 12:26 NIV). Suffering with Jesus will yield abundant fruit. Streams of life flow from those who are yoked with Jesus in the fellowship of the cross and bear their suffering for love of Him. Thousands can be blessed by one person following Jesus and carrying their cross. What an opportunity!
They came to a place called Golgotha. When they had crucified him, they placed above his head the written charge against him: This is Jesus, the king of the Jews. (from Matt. 27 NIV)
O holy cross, now you stand erected as the tree of life, from which streams of life, Jesus’ holy blood, flow unceasingly, granting salvation to all who come to drink and be filled, to be cleansed of all sins.
Jesus is now wedded to the cross, the symbol of salvation, the symbol of redemption, the symbol of victory, the symbol of all the wondrous power of God.
May You be blessed for ever
By all for whom You died,
Our loving thanks we bring You,
Lord Jesus crucified!
All hail to You, O Jesus, O Jesus!
For His disciples, His Mother, and His followers, all they could see was death… a terrible dying, and now a lifeless body that they prepared for burial and placed in the tomb. An enormous stone was rolled in front of the tomb with absolute finality.
Jesus’ words, “It is finished”, were like stones in their hearts as their minds too in the shocking reality of His death. It was over, everything was lost, all their hopes were completely destroyed.
Jesus asks you: what is it in your life today that you think is hopeless to you, lifeless, dead? Will you dare to believe that God is at work to revive and restore, even when all the evidence says everything is over?
God was at work in the darkness of the tomb. Believe that He is at work in your situation, too. Nothing is impossible for God. And “With God, suffering is never the end.” MB
Jesus is risen, as He said! Matt. 28:6 NIV
He is risen! He is alive!
As the Prince of Victory He is standing before us.
When we praise and laud His victory,
Hell will tremble and chains of sin and Satan will be broken.
His right hand will be victorious over all fear in face of the terrors that are to come, if we trust in Him. Sing unto the Lord a new song, for He does marvelous things, transforming disaster into glory, darkness into light, and sorrow into joy, for all those whose eyes are upon Him.
Yes, he whom Easter joy sets free,
His heart cries out his Lord to see,
Though Satan loud may threaten;
My thankful heart the Victor knows,
Hails Jesus, Lord of all His foes.
For Jesus is the Victor!
For Christ our Lord is risen!
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