On Our Saviour’s Death
Now is the darkest hour. Now is the time you must wait on God. The hour approaches when there the light will leave this world. The shadow descends on the Beloved as he cries out, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,’ in submission to God’s will. He dies to consummate the redemption of the world. Be astonished in contemplation of this incomprehensible mystery that Life itself should die in order to deliver you from death and to impart to you eternal life. Consider on this day and in this hour, who hangs there dead before your eyes: The Word, the Wisdom, and the Son of the eternal God. He is crucified and dead for the love of each of us. Draw near to him now in spirit and wait at the foot of his Cross, as did his mother. Mourn in prayers of hope and love. Pour out yourself in acts of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. Above all renew the promises of your heart to be his both in life and death now and forever.
King of the Jews
Consider how even at this time Our Lord begins to reign. The title that hangs over his head declares him to be the ‘King of the Jews,’ All nature proclaims him: the sun withdraws its light for the hours that he hangs upon the cross; at his death the whole earth trembles, and the veil of the temple that hangs before the inward sanctuary is rent from top to bottom. All this to show that the law and all prophecies are accomplished and the sanctuary of heaven laid open. See how he already begins from the cross to verify what he had said, If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all things to myself. (John 12:32)
Love and victory
One of the thieves that were crucified with him is the first that experiences this miraculous attraction and in an instant is changed into a saint. The captain of the soldiers that assisted at the execution is the next and loudly declares Jesus to be the Son of God. A great multitude gathered, striking their breasts at the sight of what has been done. (Luke 23:48) Let your heart share also in this mystery and this mercy by drawing near to the cross. Rest in these dark hours. Be silent and empty of all thoughts except those of the love and victory of your Lord and God.
© “Meditations for Lent” by Stafford Whiteaker from “CALLED INTO LIGHT — Meditations with Bishop Challoner for the Christian Year” by Stafford Whiteaker to be published by Gracewing Ltd in late 2021. Permission is granted for quoting from these meditations as long as the source by book title and author is credited. Pre-ordering via www.gracewing.co.uk. (Please note that foreign rights including USA have not yet been finalised. Permission has been granted by the author for this book to be translated into the French language as well as the usual translations given in foreign rights editions.)