We have all heard the phrase, “it depends on your perspective”
The truth of this statement is clearly seen throughout scripture and especially in the readings of The Passion.
If one were to look at the torture and execution of this man called Jesus of Nazareth with the perspective of a local citizen who did not know of the background of Jesus and did not experience the events that happened after the death of Jesus, one would only see another criminal or enemy of the state getting their just rewards.
From the eternal perspective however we understand this to be the Savior of the world who died for our sins.
When we hear Pilot ask Jesus “what is truth?” we can see the immediate perspective of a High ranking Roman official giving a flippant answer to a prisoner.
Or we can view this scene from the eternal perspective and realize that Pilot asks this question to the embodiment of Truth itself, the very Word of God come to earth, an ironic situation to be sure, Pilot asking Truth, “what is truth.”
When we see Jesus giving his mother over to St. John we see the immediate perspective of a dying man ensuring that his mother is taken care of.
Or we can view this from the eternal perspective of God the Son giving humanity an eternal Mother in heaven to intercede for us to the Father.
We can view the piercing of the side of Jesus from the immediate perspective as being the soldier’s way of ensuring the death of this supposed insurgent.
Or we can view this from the eternal perspective as the blood and water which flows from the side of Jesus cleansing the world and as the symbols of the eternal Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist which free us from sin and allow us to participate in the eternal life of God.
When we consider the phrase eternal life, as Christians we should not look forward to the idea of life after death as constituting “eternal life,” we should be viewing eternal life as what we are living at this very moment and through participation in the Body of Christ, in the Church and in the sacraments and by living our lives in love of God and neighbor we hope to continue living this eternal life with all of the saints in heaven!
So as the sons and daughters of God we should be viewing our lives from the eternal perspective. We should be living our lives in accordance with the idea of, how will this action or decision affect my eternal life? This is the perspective of a Christian. This is the perspective of a God incarnate, fully human yet fully divine being nailed to a cross and giving Himself over to the Father in death so that we might be free from sin and join Him in living this eternal life both now and in the here after. Amen
Your Servant in Christ,