Easter is my favorite holiday. And while Easter Sunday I feel joy for the victory over death that my LORD won for me all those years ago, Sunday is actually a refreshing end to the emotional roller coaster I feel that I'm on for days before hand. Usually the pastor preaches about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and that starts the climb up to the summit, I can imagine the click, click, click of the car on the coaster track. Without a doubt, Friday is the part of the ride when my heart feels as if it weighs two tons as if going into a deep, dark tunnel that shoots straight downward. For born-again Christians, the events that took place on that dark day two thousand years ago are hard to bear. To know Jesus is to love him. To say that he's perfect and amazing is like standing a foot from the sun and saying it's a little warm. The meaning and depth wrapped up in that one precious life is incomprehensible. And then he gave it up willingly like a sheep to the slaughter for....... well, I'll let Beth tell it. I have a great quote from Beth Moore to share with you from one of her bible studies.....
In the depths of our depravity Christ died for us. He did not wait for persons to get as close as possible through obedience to the law and righteous living. Never once did He proclaim to His father; "Close enough! This one made it!" In the breadth of our separation from God, Christ died for us. He died for people who yelled, "Crucify Him!" He died for those who ripped His flesh with whips. He died for those who slapped Him and spit on Him, for those who mocked Him, embedding a crown of thorns on His brow. He died for those who humiliated Him by stripping away His garments. He died for the soldier who pounded the nails into His flesh. He died for the one who gave him vinegar to drink. He died for the 11 who ran for their lives. In the moment in all of history when humanity could not have been farther from God, Christ died for us.
Beth Moore, A woman's heart, God's dwelling place
Please, this Easter, don't forget that Jesus was a real man with real feelings. He felt real pain and real rejection. Don't allow the repetitiveness of an annual Spring holiday distract you from these truths. Know that it was for you that he died and for you he lives. These are the greatest acts of love that we can ever know. Amen