As some of you are likely aware, there is a new faith based movie in the theaters titled, I Can Only Imagine, based on the life story of Bart Millard, the lead singer of the Christian band MercyMe. Yes, some of us have joined together in singing this beautiful song many times in church and at other Christian gatherings. As we approach the darkest hours of Christ's death on Good Friday and the shining glory of hearing the words, "He Is Risen" on Easter Sunday, the lyrics of I Can Only Imagine hold a special meaning to some - a meaning that momentarily takes us away from our mortal lives and allows us to look closer at the gift, the mystery and our imagination of eternal salvation.
"I can only imagine when that day comes, when I find myself standing in the Son, I can only imagine when all I would do is forever, forever worship You, I can only imagine, I can only imagine. Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel, will I dance with you Jesus, or in awe of you be still, will I stand in your presence....I can only imagine."
I Can Only Imagine - Bart Millard
As we imagine and offer prayers of gratitude for the new life Jesus Christ gave to us through his life, death and resurrection, we are reminded of our humility and our vulnerability, our strength and our weaknesses, our happiness and our sadness, and our hope and our suffering - all the things that make us human and indebted to Christ for His unconditional divine act of love and grace that are made visible through the cross.
Holy Week is certainly a time of celebration, but also a time of reflection about our Savior, Jesus Christ, who foretold his betrayal and crucifixion to his disciples. However, because he rose and lived again through his resurrection, we too are provided the divine opportunity for a new life on earth and a new life in heaven. Therefore, it is most appropriate to share "The Seven Words of Jesus on the Cross" as written in the Gospels in order to best express our Messiah's true love for all of us:
The First Word
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
The Second Word
"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
The Third Word
"Jesus said to his mother: "Woman, here is your son."
Then he said to the disciple: "Here is your mother."
The Fourth Word
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34
The Fifth Word
"I am thirsty."
The Sixth Word
When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished;"
and he bowed his head and handed over the spirit.
The Seventh Word
Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."
Happy Easter and God Bless,
McCormick Theological Seminary student
Then Jesus came to them and said,
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."