A few things about Easter.
It’s almost Sunday. The Easter weekend is such a powerful weekend for the follower of Jesus. It’s three days where we remember the sacrifice God made for us two thousand years ago. This weekend can be emotional for me. I think about the sacrifice Jesus made for me and it brings tears to my eyes. I think about His mission to bring freedom to the captive and to make grace and love the main goal of our lives. He came in humility and peace. He led through service and focused on others. And of course, he made the ultimate sacrifice and died a horrific death for our freedom.
There are a few things that sum up the Easter weekend for me, so I thought I’d share them with you.
People suck: Just take a stroll through your facebook newsfeed or watch the news for five minutes. People can be mean. We can be kind, compassionate and gracious, but most of the time we are really mean. We cut each other down in the name of religion, politics or philosophy with the sole purpose of proving our way is the ‘right’ way.
Jesus came to spread grace: Even though we miss the mark and are cruel, God sent Jesus. He came to bring a new way, a new law. The law said to stone people who committed certain sins, but Jesus said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. People argued over how much of their possessions belonged to God, and Jesus said “sell everything you have and follow me”. People stacked their good deeds up to show that they were more worthy of grace than their neighbor, but Jesus said “believe in me, follow me”. People wanted retaliation for the sins of others, and Jesus said “turn the other cheek”. We tend to act like the Jewish people during Jesus’ time were blind to his grace, but the situations sound a lot like how ‘religious people’ act today too.
A sacrifice was necessary: We miss the mark, and we can’t do it on our own. That is the basic tenet of Christianity. So, God sent his son to be that atonement for us. And not only did he sacrifice himself for our individual shortfalls as a payment, as grace, but he also came to earth to feel our pain. He walked in our shoes, he felt the sting of humanity. When you suffer, God feels it. When he died on the cross, he took on everything negative in the world.
Victory was his: You probably know the story. On the third day, the tomb was empty. And then Jesus appeared. He was resurrected from the dead. It was finished, as he said on the cross. He abolished the old law, and made way for the new. No longer do we need to depend on ourselves. We can look to Jesus. We can lean on him, follow him. The Bible says that a sacrifice was necessary, and that’s what Jesus did. He did that for us.
The rest is the journey: You may be reading this and totally get what I’m saying. You may be reading this and frankly think that I’m a bit crazy. But the bottom line is this: I believe in miracles, I believe in the supernatural, and I believe in Jesus. Jesus is why I do what I do. Jesus is why I am who I am. I am nothing a part from Jesus. I serve because of Jesus. I fight for freedom for the captives because of Jesus. I fight for equality and justice because of Jesus. My worldview is centered around my savior. But because of that, I am held accountable for how I follow his commands. I am seeking to love everyone, regardless of who they are or where they are at. I’m trying to give grace, to forgive easily, and to lose all forms of a judgmental spirit. I have NO right to judge, and NO right to throw stones. Jesus didn’t, so I don’t need to either. Grace is my goal, and I do that because of what happened on Easter.
It all culminated on the day we commemorate tomorrow. It changed the course of history, and it changed my life. I hope you have a wonderful Easter. I’m going to leave you with a powerful recorded message about the Easter weekend. (Note: some of the images are from “The Passion of the Christ” and can be disturbing to some viewers)