All the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things. (Luke 23:48,49)
Have you ever watched someone die? It is a powerful, moving moment. In those few seconds, the temporal and the eternal intersect. I’ve sat with many in hospice who were within a day of death, but I’ve rarely been there for someone’s final moment. Sadness, wonder, memories, labored breathing, and prayers fill the room of those on their deathbed.
According to Luke, crowds were there when Jesus died. Both those who knew him and those who had accompanied him from Galilee witnessed his final moments. All they could do was watch.
Perhaps the more important question is, “Have you ever watched someone live?”
Have you seen them in their element, almost effortlessly doing what they were created to do? Have you seen them laugh or cry without reservation, swept away by emotion? Have you seen them enjoy a delicious bite (or a whole bowl) of something? Have you seen them jump in the water, slide down the hill, been soaked with sweat, or swallow some nasty-tasting medicine?
Much of this crowd had seen Jesus live. They had seen him eat and drink, celebrate and mourn, sleep and wake, walk and talk, and teach. He worked with his hands, celebrated weddings, enjoyed a good meal, loved children, and told great stories.
They didn’t know it, but a couple of days later, some of them would get to watch Jesus live again. The resurrection forever changes the way we see life and death. Death will come, so we don’t want to take any of our days for granted. But resurrection will come, too, so we don’t want to dwell too much on death.
What’s the right balance? Focus on Jesus. He’ll show you how to live, how to die, and how to live again!
Show me how to live, Lord.