Yesterday, my son gazed at me with three year-old joy dancing in his eyes. If you've ever been around young kids, you know of what I speak. The expression that says a connection has been made, and something profound is about to be said.
"Look, daddy! I can make a cross with my arms and legs!" He stood up straight, almost at attention, motioning to how his pressed-together feet made a cross's base, then silently using each arm to point to the other outstretched arm, and finally pointing to his head, the "top" of the cross.
I looked at my son.
I smiled at him and hugged him, but something gnawed at me.
It was the parallel vision I saw next to him, the vision of another Son. A Son gazing at his Father with pain and dread in his eyes. These eyes weren't those of a three year-old, nor were they the eyes of the thirty-three years he had spent on earth. These were the eyes of eons, and they spoke with the weight of time, and the words they silently spoke were the echoes of Eden, the distant cry of Abel's blood, the groans of Hebrew slaves, the wailing of Egyptian mothers. And from those eyes fell tears. Salty, bitter Passover tears that cried of exile and captivity.
"Look, Abba! Look, Daddy!" cried the eyes.
And Abba, Daddy, looked at the Son, knowing the connection that was being made. Knowing that something profound was about to be said. Knowing what the Son would ask tonight.
"If it is possible, let this cup pass from me."
And Abba, Daddy, still looked at the Son, knowing the connection that was being made. Knowing that something profound was about to be said. Knowing what the Son would ask tomorrow.
"Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?"
Feet pressed together at the base of the cross, arms outstretched, timeless eyes and timeless questions connecting one day to the next.
One age to the next.
A connection was indeed being made.
And Abba, Daddy, still looked at the Son, though there was no smile. For the eyes through which the Son spoke to him were his own eyes, the pain with which the Son cried was his own pain, and the death the Son was about to die was his own death.
But Abba, Daddy, knew that with that death would come the death of Eden's echoes, the death of the cry of the blood, the death of the slaves' groans, the death of mothers' wails and exile and captivity and tears.
The death of death.
And the birth of life.
Indeed, a connection was being made.
And Abba, Daddy, looked at the Son.
Soon. Soon the time would come.
Soon. And then forever.