Reflecting on his suffering and death we find various ways in which Jesus is a supreme model for us.

Jesus is incredibly patient.  His tormentors were actually dependent on him for their very being.  Yet Jesus did not prevent them from mocking him, striking him, humiliating him.

Jesus showed great compassion.  From our own experience we know how difficult it is to think of others, to do for others, when we are suffering.  Jesus on the road to Calvary, despite his weakened condition, despite the pain from the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the terrible weight of the cross reached out in compassion to the women along the way.  “Weep not for me, but for your children.”  Then in the midst of his agony on the cross Jesus showed his compassion for the one we call the good thief.  “This day you will be with
me in paradise.”

We see Jesus’ obedience to the will of the Father.  Lloyd Weber in his musical, Jesus Christ, Superstar, reflected how Jesus struggled to accept the Father’s will.  There is a scene in which Jesus confronts his Father saying: “Show me there’s a reason for your wanting me to die.  You’re far too keen on where and how and not so hot on why.”

Jesus showed great humility, submitting to a trial before Pilate, enduring the humiliation of dying as a criminal.  St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians put it this way: “Who, being in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped.  But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.” (2: 6-8)

Above all Jesus was a model of love, suffering and dying out of love for us.  We recognize our total dependence on the grace Jesus won for us.  In a sense we can expect everything for God.  But we must remember we cannot simply wait for God to give us everything as though there was nothing for us to do.  . We must strive to remove any obstacles to grace.  In his book, The Breath of Love, Michael Quoist put it well.  He wrote: “Not even the greatest artist can play on broken strings.  The wind cannot drive forward a ship with torn sails.  The glacier cannot give birth to a mighty river if its bed is full of rubbish.”