Greater Love Hath No Man : That He Lay Down His Life

Crown of thorns.. 3 PM…

Greater love hath no man
Now, at the end, Jesus again pulled himself up to the top of his cross. Again he spoke. “Father,” he cried, “into your hands I commit my spirit!” One of the soldiers came around to the front of the cross to take another look. Then he went back and lay down on the rock.

From Jesus’ lungs came a final cry: “It is finished!” The body sagged on the cross. Jesus willed himself to die.
A sound went through the air as though a herd of animals had stampeded underground. A fresh breeze expelled its brief breath on the wildflowers.
The earth trembled and a small crack fissured the earth from the west toward the east and split the big rock of execution and went across the road and through the gate of Jerusalem and across the town and through the temple, and it split the big inner veil of the temple from the top to the bottom and went on east and rocked the big wall and split the tombs in the cemetery outside the walls and shook the Cedron and went on to the Dead Sea, leaving fissures in the earth, the rocks and across the mountains.
The centurion and some of the soldiers jumped to their feet in alarm. They came to the front of the cross and looked at him and at the darkened sky and the crack across the big rock. The centurion bowed his head. “Assuredly,” he said to the others, “this man was the Son of God.” He was troubled, and he turned to look at the friends of Jesus – perhaps to ask a question – but he saw that they had moved the Mother of the Messiah back towards the crossroads near the gate.

Inside the sepulchre now, Jesus was not dead. If he was, then all men are dead; they creep irrevocably toward darkness. But this is not so. There were too many signs to the contrary. For two and a quarter years, Jesus pointed the way and, had he followed the dictates of his heart, he would have done nothing but cure and cure and cure. In a way, the miracles interfered with his mission, which was to preach the good news and die. His body was to be rended and its functions were to cease. In this immolation, his soul would be glorified and in this too he was pointing the way to man.

The two Marys sat with their backs to the stone. They loved him and, in their love, they missed the enormous triumph; the new promise; the good news.

They did not even notice that the sun was shining.”
Greater love hath no man

THE DAY CHRIST DIED ~ Jim Bishop, 1957