As a Yoga instructor and practitioner, turning inward is part of the goals of coming to the mat. To use an outside practice of the body to still the mind and soul, and even the spirit, in order to connect with the Divine, and make a deeper connection to the world around us. The outward expression toward the inward focus produces an even greater result than the initial step.
The path to Calvary showed us Jesus turning inward, in one sense to cement His purpose of becoming the sacrificial Lamb of God. After the commemoration of the triumphal entry of Palm Sunday, Good Friday invites us inward: to contemplate Jesus’ tearful prayers at the Mount of Olives for this cup to pass, the malaise and eventual desertion of His disciples, the unjust trial, the horrible torture, and the heartbreaking walk to Golgotha where He was crucified between two thieves. All a dramatic display, but throughout it, Jesus turned inward, saying very few words. But when He did speak, his words were of power and purpose.
To Pilate: “I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” John 18:37
To His Crucifiers: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
To His Father: “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” Luke 23:46
We enjoy Salvation because of the end result of Jesus' turning inward and fulfilling His purpose. Isaiah foretold it, long before Jesus' entered the world:
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation?
“For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”
As we enter Easter weekend, turning inward is necessary for not only the power and purpose of the Cross to enter our hearts, but for the greater purpose of the display of Christ’s life to a dying world.
- How do you turn inward?
- What has been the end result of these times of focus?
- How do you wish to see God’s display of purpose and power in your life and world?