Summary: As we sail past Good Friday to Resurrection Sunday we have a tendency to overlook the horrible treatment of our Savior and get on to the resurrection where we will feel oh so much better! Enough with that suffering stuff ...
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
We don’t just say this because it is Resurrection Sunday! This is something we need to say and something we need to live and something we need to breathe and a truth we need to believe with all of our hearts every single moment of our lives because this one truth is the pivotal event of all of humanity on earth.
This one truth is the difference between eternal life and eternal death.
This one truth is the one and only path to salvation!
Turned on the TV this past week - The Passion of the Christ was on (with no commercials!)
It is a brutal movie! Brutal!
It will reduce you to tears especially if you love Jesus.
This past Friday was Good Friday and I was amazed how few came to the service.
The suffering and death of Christ is just as necessary and important as the resurrection and if you think the Passion of the Christ was brutal let’s take a look at what just a few Scriptures say.
Isaiah 52:13-15 (CEV)
“The LORD says: My servant will succeed! He will be given great praise and the highest honors.
“Many were horrified at what happened to Him. But everyone who saw Him was even more horrified because He suffered until
He no longer looked human.
“My servant will make nations worthy to worship Me; kings will be silent as they bow in wonder. They will see and think about things they have never seen or thought about before.”
“I offered my back to those who beat Me, My cheeks to those who pulled out My beard; I did not hide My face from mocking and spitting.”
“Who has believed our message and to whom has the power of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
“Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem. Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted.
“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.
“All we, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth;
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.
“By oppression and judgment He was taken away. Yet who of His generation protested? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was punished.
“Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around Him.
“They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on His head. They put a staff in His right hand.
“Then they knelt in front of Him and mocked Him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said. They spit on Him, and took the staff and struck Him on the head again and again.”
There are many, many more. It is beyond our comprehension what Jesus went through for our salvation.
Now, really, really … what do we think about at Easter time? Do we get time off from work or school? Will we get candy? Will our child cry when we sit him or her on the Easter Bunny’s lap for a photo? Will family be coming over for dinner? Will church go too long and interfere with the family gathering?
What about each month when we have communion. Do we really remember or do we just cast a passing glance at the image of Jesus on the cross as described in the Bible?
Do we see a lily white Jesus with blue eyes looking sad while hanging in a mildly uncomfortable posture on a cross or do we see unbearable agony being endured voluntarily at our expense?
You see, when the nails were driven through His wrists and through the tops of His feet into the cross He was being pierced for my sins and your sins. If we hadn’t sinned He wouldn’t have needed to provide a way of salvation for us.