I love Easter. More than Christmas, even. If not for Easter and the events that happened all those years ago the Christian faith would be one without hope....if it was even still around at all.
Good Friday is where most of us begin our Easter reflections. I hope that you celebrate today, not just mourn. It's true that Jesus suffered horribly and died a cruel and lonely death...abandoned at the cross by all of his disciples but John. Oh, but friends, remember that He CHOSE to be obedient to the Father's plan. He CHOSE to allow himself to be nailed to the cross. He did it because He loves YOU.
Remember the pain and suffering for sure...know what the cost was. Jesus was the Son of God, but his was a fully human body during his time on earth. He felt every cutting blow of the lash, he felt the bits of stone woven into the lashes rip his flesh each time they were pulled back for another strike. He felt every splinter of the cross when it was laid across his torn and bleeding back. He heard the mocking laughter and endured the humiliation of being paraded naked through the streets, his clothing having been stripped away and gambled for.
And he felt what you and I have never felt. We have times when we don't feel the Lord's presence or when we feel He is far away. It's not so...in those times it's we who are not close enough. God has never, ever turned His back on us. However, Jesus, before He died, took on all the sin of the world....all the sin that was, is, and will be. It was so ugly and so painful that God turned His face away and Jesus felt it, crying out "My God, why have you forsaken me?"
Such a horrible scene, but rejoice in it as well because Jesus's choice gave we who believe the hope of heaven.
Listen to one of my favorite Easter songs and remember the gift you have been given this day!