Easter is an emotional time for me. It’s like riding a rollercoaster. Before you start trying to analyze my childhood, I wasn’t traumatized by an Easter Egg hunt gone bad or by having to wear a ridiculously matching outfit to church with my siblings. The events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion makes me feel a wide-range of emotions. He was lauded as the Messiah on Palm Sunday, put to death on Good Friday, and rose again on Easter Sunday.
It is a somber feeling to think about what Jesus endured on this day, 2000 years ago. He was taunted, ridiculed, spit upon, and experienced unbearable physical pain. He was betrayed and felt abandoned by His Father.
He knew all of this would happen, yet He continued down the path. He knew the beatings would come. He knew He would be betrayed. He knew He would die, and He knew that His Father, the source of all love, would turn away from Him.
But, He walked that path anyway … for me! My somberness turns to overwhelming gratitude and joy as I remember that He is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s love and wrath. He loves me so much that He went to the cross for me.
Then, I feel a sense of sadness and remorse, knowing that Jesus bore God’s wrath for me. He walked the path to the cross knowing that I would betray Him, spit in His face.
Then comes Sunday. Death is defeated and I am overcome with joy.
But, enough about feelings! After all, I am a man.
The resurrection of Jesus gives me the assurance that the work is done. There is nothing I can do to save myself. Jesus’ death and resurrection is what was required.
It’s not a matter of me proving myself worthy of being saved. Grace by definition, is undeserved favor. If I deserved it, it wouldn’t be grace! In fact, I can only prove the opposite – that I deserve death, not life everlasting with Jesus. This assurance separates Chistianity from every other religion.
Every other religion requires work to attain the goal. We know we can’t do anything to earn it. Instead, we strive to glorify the One who saved us because He did what we cannot do.
If you don’t have this assurance, or have questions about it. Ask your pastor, or a teacher or staff member at WCS. We want you to have this assurance.
And, if you have this assurance, like I do, remember this: the gift of salvation is free, but it isn’t cheap.
Because He Lives,
I really like contemporary hymns. I also love the beautiful, rich-in-doctrine old hymns. Let me encourage you with a few of my favorites.
One of my favorite arrangements of Christ the Lord has Risen Today (Charles Weslery, 1739) can be heard at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zyGojFXMRw.
A verse from “It is Well with My Soul” by Horatio Spafford, music by Philip Bliss in 1876
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
A verse from “And Can It Be That I Should Gain” by Charles Wesley in 1738
He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!