HOLY TRINITY WINCHESTER - STATIONS OF THE CROSS
NINTH STATION - JESUS FALLS FOR THE THIRD TIME.
Jesus had reached almost to the top of Calvary; but, before He had reached the very spot where He was to be crucified, again He fell, then dragged up and goaded onwards by the brutal soldiery.
These three falls—the past, the present, and the future—Evil had in mind when Judas was moved to betray our Lord. This was Evil’s hour.
Our Lord, when He was seized, said to His enemies,
"This is your hour and the power of darkness."
Yet Evil unwittingly acted on behalf of the world's redemption,
which our Lord's passion and death were to work out.
The weight of the Cross that caused Him to fall, not once, but three times;
the barbarity of the soldiers; and the crowd were but Evil’s instruments.
This third fall is the worst of the three.
His strength has for a while utterly failed Him,
and it is some time before the barbarous soldiers can bring Him round.
St.John Henry Newman.
Jesus falls for a third time, broken, exhausted, physically and emotionally.
Lying on the ground, Jesus must decide,
does He get up once more or does He just stop and give up?
We see him rise again, and with all his power he continues on his journey.
Jesus shows us that we can go on, even if nobody else thinks that it is possible.
Many in our world today feel that they are at that moment of final falling, that their burden is too much to carry. They cannot bear any more. Crushed by the weight of their cross they feel unable to get up, unable to go on.
Some may look for relief in addiction.
A few, sadly, may look to escape through suicide.
In Jesus we find our hope and our encouragement.
The third fall of Jesus reminds us
that even in our moment of complete helplessness,
or our experiences of depression,
in our own Calvary,
we can stand up again.
Jesus is with us
and Jesus is our strength.
He overcame it all.
Lord, we pray that when our strength fails,
when our hope fades
and when our spirit grows weary
that we will put our unbounded trust in you.
In turn may we bring your love,
in a word or action of comfort to another,
in their moment of meaningless, depression or despair.