I know why most people go with the whole idea of bunnies and eggs on Easter.
At least, I know why I do.
It is because the spilled blood of the cross feels more like Halloween.
It's dark and terrible.
We find the crucifixion unnerving. Unpalatable. Too much.
We feel weird drawing attention to all that blood and cruelty and pain.
We want to hurry past the horror of Golgotha to the miracle of Easter.
We love Jesus, dressed in white, surrounded by golden glory, risen and triumphant.
The thought of him wreathed in darkness, head bowed, pain-wracked, gasping for air,
leaves us squirming.
But we only truly honor Jesus when we realize that our freedom,
our joy, our hope, our peace, comes at the cost of his pain.
To skim over his suffering negates the power and the breadth and the depth of what He did.
He thought all the pain, the torment, the horror of the cross was worth going through.....
For us. You and me.
He knew we couldn't set ourselves free.
But he was pierced for our transgressions.
He knew we were stuck in sin, headed toward a lonely path of our own destruction.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us turned to our own way.
It's what we do when left to our own devices....we ruin ourselves.
He knew we were a mess, inside and out.
He knew that only He could do what needed to be done.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
Only He could bridge the chasm between a sinful people and a holy God.
He poured out his life unto death and was numbered with the transgressors
Only He could wrench us free from the grip of the evil one.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth.
Only He could pry us from the dark hold of selfishness
and the insatiable appetites that sin unleashed in us.
He was crushed for our iniquities
Death was coming one way or another.
It was either us or Jesus.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before the shearer's is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
He saw the hopeless faces of sin sick humanity down through the ages
and said to his Father,
"I can't help myself. I love them. I'll go. Let me save them."
For he bore the sins of many and made intercession for the transgressors.
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted.
He was the only one who could bring life and wholeness to our dying spirits.
The punishment that brought us peace was upon him.
Only He could heal the seeping wounds in our souls and our troubled minds.
By his wounds, we are healed.
Surely, Good Friday, Jesus' worst day, is our best day.
It was the day that the gap was breached between heaven and hell.
The day that Jesus relinquished everything...his power, his will, his last breath,
so that we could have life and have it to the full.
So that from here on out, we can fill the skies with the praise of what He has done for us
So that from here on out, we can love him back with everything that is within us.
Heart. Mind. Soul. And Spirit.
Let's not, today of all days, hold anything back.
(scripture taken from Isaiah 53)