Easter gives me nightmares. I’m not belittling the death and resurrection of Christ, but the whole thing is so convicting that I have nightmares.
From childhood, seeing the death of Jesus constantly played has haunted me. It has torn away at my soul. And truthfully . . . it should do the same to you.
Christmas is the sweet offering of God’s Son, sent from His place in heaven to a sinful world. An innocent baby, given in exceptional circumstances to be raised – the Son of Man – the Son of God.
But behind the joy of Easter is the horrid realization of our sin cast upon one soul to bear the weight. Through His blood, we are made clean. Still, the cruel and inhumane behaviors of men lashing out at Christ tear me apart. I can hardly look at a photo of a dying Jesus hanging on a cross without the realization that his body was not this clean figure gently dying on a tree. It was the Son of Man beaten beyond recognition. His flesh torn and ripped from the muscle by the lashes of the whips, eyes swollen shut, hair plastered tightly to His head from His own blood. A gentle man, taken to the extents of brutality. . . and yet, of the few words He uttered, the most convicting were, “Father forgive them . . .”
Tell me you can read those words and hold the mental picture of what Jesus suffered and not be broken and wholly convicted.
Ezekiel told about his call from God: “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” Probably an early reference to Christ as well, but still a command, a call, to meet God. One fulfilled for Ezekiel and for us.
I often wonder at the times God calls each of us to stand and meet Him and how we callously ignore the opportunity to have the Spirit come and raise us to our feet. How can we refuse to look at His sacrifice? How can we carelessly glimpse at the figure of Jesus on the cross and see nothing more than a figure on a tree?
In our rejoicing over the resurrection of Christ, don’t forget Easter is also a time of mourning, reflection, and devastation. The death had to happen before the resurrection could come. Someone had to pay the price. Please do not overlook it. Our sin put Him in the grave, and His sacrifice purified our souls. The Son of Man has overcome death. The Spirit stood Him on His feet and elevated Him to His rightful place by God.
When you hear the call from the Spirit, answer. Let Him raise you to your feet in the name of the Lord – for in His suffering we have been saved. Where, oh death, is your victory? Gone! Because of the power of the living God.
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