Passover and Easter Morning
I’m blogging with a cup of fresh coffee, in our kitchen. It’s very early Easter morning.
I must confess there are moments when I question the path of Jesus our Messiah. I get that he had to die, to be sacrificed. The theology of the Son of God giving up his life for the world is clear. But why did his death have to be so horrible, hateful, and violent?
Some initial answers are:
- Prophecy pointed to a bloody Messianic death.
- It was how God planned for it to happen.
- His death revealed the depth of God’s love for us.
But still, I wonder. The beatings, scourging, the eight inch nails, the crown of thorns, carrying his own cross, wow, it’s overwhelming.
The Gospel makes its appeal from a most humble place. In spite of what I might think, the Gospel wasn’t going to be effective if it centered on a wealthy and powerful king. One who lived in high luxury with every pleasure, then sacrificed himself with a painless death.
Jesus was a king, he established a new kingdom. But he paid for it in blood, his own. The message of the Christ appeals to the lowliest person, the poorest people, and the most sinful among us. It couldn’t be a gospel for the wealthy, the proud, and the arrogant. I know, impoverished people can be proud and arrogant too.
There is something about the passion of the christ that reaches deep inside every one of us. Jesus willingly went to a place that none of us would have gone to. It was a place of deprivation and abject poverty, a place with immense suffering and shame. It has the power to humble all of us. The violence of Calvary brings the entire world to it’s knees, crushing our pride and breaking our hearts. What’s left but to repent, to submit and surrender?
The cross took place in real time, it happened in Roman occupied Israel, within the context and cultures of Jerusalem and Rome. The Gospel’s great paradox is that everything Jesus experienced was according to God’s plan, a plan that counted on the hatefulness and brutality of ignorant men. There could be no resurrection without a death.
He was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. By his stripes we are healed. His punishment brought us peace. Isaiah 53
He is risen, he is risen indeed!