How did Jesus die? Yes, he was nailed to a cross outside the walls of Jerusalem. However the nails did not kill him; Jesus died the slow death of suffocation. As a person on a cross lost strength, the weight of their body hanging there would gradually make breathing more difficult until death came.

Physical suffocation is dreadful but there is another form of suffocation that is also dreadful; Spiritual suffocation. This slow death comes about when a person loses their focus on God. For a great variety of reasons they close the door on their relationship with the Creator of all that is, seen and unseen. The God of Love who has given them the freedom to make such a choice, stands weeping outside the closed door, knocking again and again in the hope that the person will come to their senses. Meanwhile the person suffocates bit by bit as their soul is deprived of the renewing breath that the Holy Spirit brings. Yet, spiritual suffocation can be reversed. The prayers of the faithful are heard in the kingdom of heaven and miracles happen. The love of Jesus seeps into the gasping soul; new life begins.

Let us follow Jesus in praying for the spiritually suffocating.

Bible Reading: Luke 23:32-34, 15:12-24; Revelation 3:20.