Resurrection Sunday, or as we grew up calling it Easter Sunday, is the oldest of the Christian holy days, and I would say it is the most important day of the church year and in the Christian life. It is typically the highest day of church attendance in the year at our church with four packed services. WHY! Because we are celebrating the resurrection of Christ. We, Christians believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross, and after three days He arose. The death is commemorated on Good Friday, the Friday before Resurrection Sunday.
Resurrection Sunday is also the end of the Lent season for some – a time of fasting and prayer, solitude, and reflection. This year I have participated in Lent for the first time. You can read about that here and here. For me it has been a time to not only give up, but also give. I’ve enjoyed time blessing others, and plan to do this year after year, and I have also reflected on my health with more exercise and healthier eating. For me this year, Lent has been about preparing my heart – it’s been an awesome holy season reflecting on Jesus. It’s been almost 40 days of reflecting on Him and the cross.
At this time of the year I think about our new creation in Christ – our “new life“.
Spring is all about new life. Christ died for our sins and He rose. Every sin that I and you have ever committed nailed Him to the cross. He died so that you and I can live.
Can you picture Jesus dying on that cross and arising from that tomb to give you and I grace? Can you picture all of those death rags perhaps having words on them like fear, doubt, worthless, sinner, etc. being torn off? On my best day, I am nothing but filthy rags. On my worst days, He is there giving me grace. How do we experience that glorious grace? By looking to that wonderful cross.
Today we portray the cross as something beautiful in the way we wear them – beautifully designed, and the beautiful crosses we hang in our homes, and for me outside on the house, in the flower beds. For me it is beautiful knowing what Jesus did on that cross for me.
Do you realize what a horrible meaning the cross had in Jesus’ time? It meant horror, it meant torture, it meant being nailed to a cross, nails driven through the wrists most likely, but possibly through the palms, and Luke depicts Jesus’s sweat becoming as blood. It mean being spat upon, struck, scourged with a whip, ultimately with the skin of the back in ribbons, and a crown of thorns pressed upon his head, stumbling and falling as he was forced to carry his cross, nails driven through his feet, being unable to get a fresh breath of air and that’s only a small part of what the agony and pain our Christ suffered on that cross for each one of us for six long hours. Does that break your heart? It does mine.
I love the song “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross“. When I survey the wondrous cross…………….OH the wondrous cross bids me come and die and find that I may truly live…….love so amazing, so divine demands my soul, my life, my ALL!
This week as we continue in this blessed season I have to stop and ponder daily of all He has done for me and my family. How about you? Do you realize that he died humbly, willingly and lovingly for us?
Why didn’t He come down off that cross? He could have called to His Father to save Him, but He willingly I am overwhelmed as I think how God sent His only begotten son to die for my sin, and I am overwhelmed to think of my sin – ugly sin that creeps up even when I am in the Word and spending hours with Him in prayer – that ole’ ugly sin of mine. But those sins, those cracks He will use them to show His glory and grace. We are vessels filled with His grace. His grace and love are immeasurable.
I am overwhelmed as I think how God sent His only begotten son to die for my sin, and I am overwhelmed to think of my sin – ugly sin that creeps up even when we are in the Word and spending hours with Him in prayer – that ole’ ugly sin of mine. I am overwhelmed by His love for me and my family.
My daughter and I were on a trip last year and we saw this beautiful cross up on a hill. I could not help but to stop and gaze and snap a picture thinking of the ultimate sacrifice He made for me. I could not help to pause and think Him for healing one grandson and for the trip we were on together with her carrying our future grandson (who by the way is here now and a part of us in this holy season).
OVERWHELMED and THANKFUL and BLESSED!
How do you look to the cross? For me, the cross is my center in Christ. If I am not looking to the cross, I am not in the center of the cross. He chose those nails for you and me.