Friday, March 5, 2021
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Luke 4:9-10
Jesus shouldn’t have to fall. We have all seen him perform miracles. We have seen him walk on water and raise the dead. This is the same Jesus who calmed the storms and healed lepers. He knows the entire life of the woman at the well, and he turned water into wine. Why does he not just carry the cross?
And yet, he falls, and more than once for that matter. But here is the difference. All of those miracles listed above are not for his own sake but for the sake of the least and the lost and the hurting and vulnerable. When it comes to himself, the Jesus we see here in this Seventh Station is the same Jesus we meet in the desert at the beginning of his ministry. When it comes to exalting himself and when it comes to saving himself, Jesus reminds us that while he is fully God, he is also fully human. He reminds us that the son of man came not to be served but to serve.
And so on that fateful journey to the cross, just like when he stood upon the pinnacle of the temple, there were no angels to bear him up lest he dash his foot on a stone. Jesus did not use his Godliness as something to be exploited, but emptying himself, he took on the form of a human falling under the weight of the sins of the world and the empire that condemned him.
Yes, here Jesus falls for a second time, but remember, when you fall, Jesus will be there to pick you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.
Peace in Christ,
Pr. Dan Joyner Miller