Last Easter I found myself huddled beneath the cross where Jesus hung dying.
Now, for those of you that know me, that’s not as strange as it seems. I love the theater; I even majored in costume design for a time in college. But now, my favorite theater is found in the church. I love being involved in church dramas. For me, the Bible comes alive when it’s being portrayed on the stage.
I do have to confess that I don’t like being one of those onstage – hence the major in costume design. I absolutely hate being in front of a large group of people. I’ve found my place, though. I love being part of the stage crew and that’s what I was doing last Easter.
So, last Easter I huddled beneath the cross while Jesus hung suffering. I was dressed all in black, trying to make myself as small as possible so I wouldn’t detract from the actor portraying Christ. But as I crouched there, I heard his groans and watched him writhe in agony. I heard the cry of the crowds and felt my heart chilled by their impassive faces as they observed the drama.
Was this the way it had been 2000 years ago? The question in my mind transported me to ancient Jerusalem as my heart flooded with parallels. It was no longer just a drama on stage, Jesus’ agony and sacrifice became real in a way I could never have imagined.
The black I wore represented my sin and my invisibility to God in my wretchedness.
My silence, while necessary and expected during the performance, stung me with the resemblance of real life. The world expects me to be silent about the cross, or at least tasteful. And so often I comply, remaining quiet instead of speaking out.
Finally my attempt to remain hidden reminded me that while the world might not see me as I really am, Jesus had a perfect view of me while he hung suffering.
Yes, last Easter I found myself huddled at the base of the cross where Jesus hung dying.
And I will never be the same.