Thursday, April 01, 2010

Easter Week

I love the focus on Jesus this week. It's one of my favorite times of the year and today, as I sit and marvel at the cloudless blue sky that has allowed the sun to shine unobstructed, I think of Him and His death.

The miracle of the Easter story still moves me to a place of awe and reflection.  Year after year I delve into God's Word beginning with Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem in John chapter 12.  I close my eyes and picture his triumphant entrance into the city, greeted by the faithful who had come to celebrate the Passover Feast.  I wonder if it was a day like today, so full of sunshine that the palms branches being waved in honor of the King created long shadows across his path.  I think the air must have smelled like earth from the dust stirring beneath the feet of those shouting "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!".

During the Passover feast with His disciples, the Man who was also God served them in a most intimate way, washing their feet free of the mud and muck of the road and then drying them with the towel tied securely around His waist.  Even as His betrayer sat among them He spoke in love, telling them "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him."

In that room Jesus tried to prepare these imperfect, simple men about the coming days. These same men who had argued just hours before who was greatest among them in sight of their Lord could not fathom the weight of His words.

I think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, falling to His face amongst the olive trees with a soul that was 'overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death'.   The  knowledge of what He was about to face, not just His physical death, but for the burden He would bear on that cross for every man's guilt and shame for all of eternity caused blood to seep from his pores as He cried out to Abba.

I remember a moment when I told a lie in anger and even now, after all of this time,  can recall how my body reacted to my sin. My stomach felt painfully twisted and taut almost to the point of nausea.  I literally shook with guilt and was sickened with fear from my sin. Now I think of Jesus on the cross, bearing that very same guilt and shame not just for me, but for every person to walk this earth.  I am thankful, humbled, overwhelmed that I can seek forgiveness at the foot of that Cross.

What is there in this life but faith? All else is fleeting. All else is temporary.

Eternity was born on Calvary, nailed to a cross, bleeding and disgraced. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice. I could not have born what you did and for that I praise You.

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