As I finished up setting out the Easter baskets this morning I realized that if I had not taken the time to go to Good Friday Services at church, I would have had little time to sit and think about what Easter weekend is all about. I mean, I know what Easter is all about but as a Christian I feel that this is the most important Holiday (which of course wouldn’t exsist w/o Christmas) of the year and I owe it to Christ to remember and meditate at least for a moment. I owe Christ so much more than a moment but I am so grateful that my church and pastor have services on a regular basis and the special ones like Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. I’m also thankful to my parents for making church a habit and routine. Without church and habits, I (and many others I’m afraid) would have forgotten what we need to remember.
We need to remember what it was that Christ Jesus actually did. Every so often, we hear on the radio about human beings making the ultimate sacrifice to save their families, their fellow comrades in war, and even sometimes strangers. The news people often interview their families and we often hear things like “that’s just the kind of person they were” or “they were the kind of person to not hesitate to help another person”. Now, imagine for a moment, being “that kind of person” but also knowing for your whole entire life that you would eventually be killed, not as a hero in the eyes of the public but as a criminal, even though you know that what you will do will save millions. Jesus was a man. He had the same emotions, the same feelings, the same everything. . .. . Imagine the anxiety and stress He was under for much of his life- knowing that everyone would turn their back on him and he would executed in a horrible fashion! Now imagine knowing all this, having all that anxiety and worry, and -at the same time- having all the power of our Almighty Creator!
How many humans do you know who would choose to die as a criminal in the execution manner of Jesus’ day and age when they had another option of just “getting out of Dodge”?? Jesus had the power to call more than 10,000 angels. If He had called, they would have responded like the bombs dropping from B-52’s during WWII, I’m sure. BUT- He didn’t call them!!
Jesus made a choice! He knew that all the mental anguish and physical pain He would endure would cover for every single person who, then in turn, made the choice to follow Him and ask Him to guide their lives!
His choice wasn’t a heat of the moment decision like you hear about on the news today of modern heros. His choice was a decision He made and kept for his entire life.
Now, imagine if you will- being the parent of such a man! Can you imagine being Mary or Joseph or even God?? Imagine how hard it must have been for them as well!!! I’m sure they had to have plenty of self-control to not throw in the towel on Jesus’ behalf as he drug that cross down the road to the crucifixion!
The greatest part of this story- Imagine Jesus waking up after His 3-day tomb “vacation” and realizing that His faith in the Almighty Father had worked. God had brought Him back from the dead just like He promised! Imagine the grin He must have had, knowing His great purpose in life had been completed! Imagine the pride in knowing that He, a man, was able to save millions of people from the firey bowels of hell once they made their own choice as well.
God loved this world He made for us to live in and the people in it so much that He wanted us to be able to live forever with Him in eternity. Because of this great love, He made a son, Jesus. Jesus’ purpose in life was to live, teach everyone about God’s love and forgiveness and grace, and then make the ultimate sacrifice of His own life to save all of God’s people. All we have to do to be saved by Jesus is to believe in Him! If we believe in Him we will not die when our end comes! We will live forever in heaven with God!! (paraphrased from John 3:16)