Last night, I had the privilege of experiencing a very somber, yet comforting event at our church. As we gathered to partake in the Lord's Supper like we do every year at this time, our Pastor moved forward to Good Friday and the events that happened during that day. Now, I'm sure all of you have read the Easter story at some time or other and all of the events that lead up to the crucifixion of Jesus, but have you ever really LISTENED to what had happened to him?
Last night, as we sat in darkness and listened to these events unfold, I felt as if I was right there in the crowds as they persecuted my Lord and Savior. I was among the many women crying out for my Savior not to be beaten and wounded the way that He was. I was there with Mary Magdalene, James and Jesus' mother Mary as they cried out for Him to be set free. I felt His humility, His disappointed in the disciples not being able to hold their heads up for ONE little hour to keep watch as He prayed to His Father to let this cup pass from Him. I felt the loneliness He must have felt as He was torn away from the only friends and family He had.......His disciples, to be portrayed by someone He trusted. It's not just a story.....and no matter how many excuses the world tries to make or how much proof they believe they have uncovered, His Word tells us that He was the sacrificial Lamb. The blood He shed saved us all.......from the worst sinner, to the least. We WERE with Him that day. We drove those nails into His hands, placed that crown of thorns upon His precious head. We were, at some point in our lives, the soldier that pierced His side with that spear! And yet, His very last words were those of forgiveness and love. "Father, forgive them, for they know NOT what they are doing!." And as He hung His head and uttered "It is finished," He was thinking of you and I.
As the members of our congregation left the service in complete silence last night, I had a very difficult time trying to remove myself from the sanctuary. I felt as if I had went back in time, and that I didn't want to leave my Savior's side. I wanted to scream at the soldiers for making a mockery out of my Savior! I wanted them to feel every ounce of torture that they placed upon Him. But as I sat there, I realized, that I too crucified Him with my past sins. As the lights began to come back on in the sanctuary, I still did not want to leave. I felt compelled to stay and mourn my Savior. I felt as if one of my closest family members had died and it was time for that final good-bye to take place. That's where the beauty of it all comes into play. I don't have to say good-bye to my Savior because HE IS ALIVE!! And one day, I will have the privilege to kneel at His feet, kiss those nail scarred hands and thank Him for loving me oh so much so that I could spend eternity with Him.
This Easter season, remember that YOU were on His mind while he hung upon that cross. As they drove each nail deeper and deeper into His hands and feet, YOU were on His mind. He loved us all enough to be the perfect and everlasting sacrifice. And then He did what everyone claimed He could never do. He arose from the grave, ascended into Heaven and He is sitting at the right hand of the Father awaiting our arrival. He is with us now if we just call upon His name. I felt His presence last night.......and I sit here broken hearted this morning as I think of the events that happened on that day He gave His life for us. And come Sunday, I will celebrate and praise Him for conquering the grave! Oh, I pray that you too will be celebrating with me.