There are many pains that we experience in our lives. The pains may be caused by an illness or someone in our life who has hurt us. It may be emotional or physical, or even spiritual. There are so many pains we endure in life, and some scar us for the future.
And there are times when that pain blocks our view of the future, from the light that can bring us peace and comfort. In these times, we wallow in darkness and despair because we cannot see a way out of the pain.
But there is light. It may be a tiny shimmer or a bright beam that suddenly shatters the darkness. It may come in the touch of a friend or a phone call out of the blue. Yes, there is light, and that light is the promise of Christ, the promise that he will always walk with you, especially in the painful times of life.
In today’s reading, there are two completely different events, both of which evoke pain. The first is the anointing of Jesus with ointment from an alabaster jar. This is a touching act, one of aching beauty. The second is the Judas setting the stage to betray Jesus. There are few types of pain that match betrayal and Jesus will face them all in a very short period of time.
One last thing about pain. It is subjective. I have seen youtube clips of tough guys getting tattoos, and they are crying and wincing like no bodies business. I have see others get the most elaborate of work done with hardly a grunt of discomfort. For many people mental pain; depression, sorrow, and the like, are the most painful thing there is. I know others for whom a paper cut requires morphine, but nothing gets them down, you could tease them all day long, and they wouldn’t flinch.
On the cross, Jesus experienced all this pain, and he did it for us. The cross, of course, is not the end of the story; if it was Jesus’ story would indeed be a sad one if it were. But the empty tomb reminds us that even in the midst of our pain we are not alone,it will not be all we are, and we can have hope for indeed God’s grace is sufficient.