Read John 19:31-37

 

Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed.  Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.

 

But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.  (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.)

 

These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.”  And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

(NRSV)

 

from Rev. Larry Grimes, Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Beech Bottom

 

            “Break a leg,” someone said as the curtain rose and he was shoved to center stage.

            They cheered when he walked into the light. They shouted, like he was the Messiah or something.

            Then it was clear.  His legs would not be broken, but sides would split with mocking laughter. In the midst of all the laughter a scream welled up from his lungs.  His lips said, “Father, why have you forsaken me? “

            Yes, they laughed at his absurd presence—the crown of thorns, the sign nailed above his head. Quite a kingly presence he was. Ha! Ha! Ha!  His lips were dry and his throat too. He felt the sour sponge on his lips. It was enough to let words fly. Last words: “Into your hands I commend my Spirit.”

            Later, when the curtain descended, it was nearly torn in two.

            Someone said, “Well, he certainly didn’t break a leg out there.” But he did break the open the heavens, break loose from the tomb, and break us free to love and live, even as he lived and loved, in this life and in the life to come.

 

In this awful day of memories, we await your assurance, O God.

Help us to find hope beyond death, but also hope within this life,

that we may live and love as Christ has loved,

and give as he has given.

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