This morning I heard the Weatherman say, “here is your weather forecast for this holiday weekend.” That made me stop and think it’s more than a holiday weekend. I’m afraid if we are not careful we could get caught up in the world’s view of Easter, the bunnies, colored eggs and the new latest fashion outfit to “have” to wear to church this special Sunday. I’ve been there and I know! I want to have moments to reflect on what happened at the Cross for me and the fact HE IS RISEN and lives within me today this very moment…
I’ve enjoyed my friends sharing from their heart today, on Facebook. Let’s read some of their words…..
“The weight of the cross, the curse of our shame You carried it all and rose from the grave How great is the love, of our Savior.
“Wonderful, Merciful Savior…Precious Redeemer and Friend…who would have thought that a Lamb could rescue the souls of men? Thank you Jesus!”
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” (Gal 3:13)
“Greatest man in history, named Jesus, had no servants, yet they called him Master. Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet he conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. ~ Re-post if you believe with your heart.”
“I can’t imagine what was going through the mind and heart of Jesus on this day over 2000 years ago! Thankful for the cross & the empty tomb!”
When you wake up this Sunday morning think about the empty tomb and the love He had for you and me. I think I will start my morning by singing “BECAUSE HE LIVE I CAN FACE TOMORROW”, you can join me if you like……
(An addendum to the above, just got this email, it is a must read to add here. Jonathan is another lifelong friend. We have known his sweet family for years and BTW he is one of my Facebook friends too, and it is posted there. He loves God and lives his life for Him, to say the least! Take time to soak these thoughts in)
This weekend: Remembrance and Celebration
by Jonathan Aman on Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 10:37am
This is my favorite holiday weekend. Growing up, Easter was a day of cantatas and getting something new and shamefully bright to wear to church. I was probably in high school before I started taking time to remember what we were celebrating. Even then, the majority of my focus for the weekend was on the music I was going to be singing on Sunday. In fact, Good Friday was really about the dress rehearsal for Sunday’s cantata.
Speaking of Good Friday, I don’t remember hearing much about it when I was young. Maybe it was because Baptists are so afraid of anything that resembles a ritual that they figured they’d let the Catholics and Protestants keep that day for themselves. I don’t know. I would have gladly taken that in a trade for “Sonrise” services (which you’ll never be able to convince me had anything to do with the Holy Spirit). But, somewhere along the line, I started taking some time on Good Friday for remembrance.
The last few years, Helena and I can’t seem to get our minds away from the weight of sin that Jesus experienced on the cross. The physical suffering He endured gets most of the play, but the emotional side seems even more unfathomable to me…if that’s possible. Can you imagine feeling the burden of the shame and guilt of all of your sin at once? Take that and multiply it by all of humanity. Now, imagine that your father is perfect in every way…your closest friend and ally…and he turns away from you in the midst of this physical and emotional agony. And that has brought me to this year. The Father.
Friday, around lunchtime, I began reading Isaiah 53. Here, I’m reading the passage that is probably the most famous detail of Jesus’ suffering, and all I can see is the pain of His Daddy watching all of this happen. I balled my eyes out reading verses 10 and 11, and needed a breather. I walked into the next room and watched Silas from a distance. He was watching Veggie Tales while doing his trademark fingers in his mouth and other hand twirling the hair on the top of his head (I’m fairly certain there’s a pic of him doing this somewhere on Facebook). And I stood there shaking my head and pondering how our Father purposely chose to unleash all of His wrath on His Son.
Later that night, we decided to read the garden and crucifixion stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible to Silas before bed. There it was again:
He knew it was time for him to die. They had planned it long ago, he and his Father. Jesus was going to take the punishment for all the wrong things anybody had ever done, or ever would do.
“Papa! Father!” Jesus cried. And he fell to the ground. “Is there any other way to get your children back? To heal their hearts? To get rid of the poison?”
But Jesus knew – there was no other way. All the poison of sin was going to have to go into his own heart.
God was going to pour into Jesus’ heart all the sadness and brokenness in people’s hearts. He was going to pour into Jesus’ body all the sickness in people’s bodies. God was going to have to blame his son for everything that had gone wrong. It would crush Jesus.
I’m not even willing to imagine being in that position. And He was in both. He was the Son bearing all of the agony that came with the cross. And He was simultaneously the Father watching that happen to His only Son. I know. It’s too much for us to comprehend. And it was all because He couldn’t stand the thought of being without me…and you.
That’s what Good Friday is about to me. It’s about remembering the cost, the sacrifice made for us. Yet, we miss out on so much if we stop there.
The problem of sin was dealt with on the cross, and that was taken care of forever. And I spent most of my life content with that truth…even though I didn’t really understand even that side of the cross. But, Sunday is where we live!
In John 10:10, why does He say He came? To give us life! He’s not talking about a dead man getting back his same life that he lost. The Greek word there, Zoe, is the very life of Christ. The finished work of the cross, including the glorious resurrection that followed…that made it all possible for us to obtain the life of the One who is perfect in every way, the One who endured greater suffering than man can fathom, the One who did it all because He only wanted to live if it was with and IN us. That life defines who we are. It’s something we can’t generate. It’s something we can’t recreate. It’s His. And it’s ours if we so choose.
So, to me, Good Friday is about remembrance of sacrifice. Resurrection Sunday is about celebration of life!