I gain consciousness slowly, lifting myself out of the comfy darkness of deep slumber, a few brief seconds of still and harmless peace before reality falls over me, pressing at my skin. How could I have forgotten? The power of the grief that hits me is so overwhelming that, within seconds of waking, tears threaten to break from my eyes. I blink the salty water away and slowly, painfully sit up, place my feet on the floor, and try my hardest to stand up and begin the day.
And yet, there is another who knew grief, a saviour who wept at the tomb of his friend.
Curled into a foetal position, tucked into the corner of my sofa, I look at the clock with its only black roman numerals, almost wishing that time would pass quickly away, that I could go back to sleep. I don’t want to be awake today.
The clouds are a blanket of pale, dull grey and are contrasted only by the bricking brown of the flats that surround my own. I try to muster up some motivation, but there is no feeling of excitement or purpose within me. I have a lecture soon, but no desire to go; no movement is made. Instead, I sit there, still, and I do nothing at all.
Yet, there is one who saw death coming his way and did not turn back, but, with purpose, marched into its awful arms. There is a saviour that looked to the cross on which he would die, who wished that there may have been another way, but said to his Father ‘not my will but yours.’
By some miracle, and I only exaggerate slightly, I manage to get changed, to eat a meal, to open the door and step outside. The chill of the winter air hits me as though trying to persuade me back in.
Today, the weight of every step seems to crush me, as though the heaviness of my mind is physically weighing down on my feet.
Yet, there is one who was born into this world so that he might face death for us. There is a saviour who, day by day, walked the road that led to death on the cross.
It’s funny… how lonely a university campus, teeming with students, can be. As I walk through the corridors, sit down in my lecture, I think of how comforting a familiar face can be. But even when the faces are more familiar, the context less frightening, I find it hard to stir up some joy within me. I want to enjoy the company, to love others well, to make others happy. But how can I do that when I can’t find any happiness for me?
Yet, there is a saviour who saw his friends turn away, who was denied, rejected, scorned. There is a saviour who stood alone, against a crowd that called out ‘crucify’.
I can’t get comfortable; my sheets are getting all caught up and my room is messier than a pig sty. I’ve stopped looking at the clock, I don’t want to know how long it’s taking me. The morning creeps behind my blinds. Another night without sleep.
Yet, as his friends slept around him, the Son of God himself called out to his Father. A saviour who walked alone in the night, who rose early to pray, who knows how it feels to be awake whilst the whole country sleeps.
I hear more discouraging news, a set back in another’s recovery. Illness hits suddenly, leaving me to wonder how I ever saw health as something so immovable. I hear the grief of many surrounding me, and as death becomes more real, as it’s power looms over me, I am afraid.
Yet, there is a saviour who died for me. There is a saviour who was raised from the dead for me. There is a saviour who will carry me through death, because he faced its crushing power and he overcame.
This is life and it’s hard. This is my daily existence, and it hurts. But this is the difference it makes to have a saviour who has suffered.
Yet, I will praise him, because he died and was raised for me, he died and was raised for you.