By Helen Norvell
Easter is the celebration of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, the Son of God.
Can we even imagine the kind of love it would take to sacrifice our son?
As Christians, we sometimes forget or become apathetic about the reason we celebrate Easter. With the shopping for the perfect Easter outfit, the Easter bunny, the egg hunt, do we take time to meditate on what Easter really means to us?
I am one of those people that meditate on things, especially the scriptures. Just as Mary pondered these things in her heart, so do I.
This year as we are about to celebrate Easter, I began to think on what kind of love it would take to sacrifice my son in such a horrible way. Could I do it or would I do it?
We know that we are created in the image of God. He certainly has emotions. We know that He loves, He gets angry, He is righteous, and He demands payment for sin. He wants fellowship and relationship with His creation. We are to bring glory, praise and worship to Him.
From the beginning, God wanted a relationship with us. He walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Then, in comes Satan who deceives Eve, and Adam disobeys God breaking the fellowship with the Father. Sin equals death. Spiritual death. There must be payment for sin in order to restore fellowship with God. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. From Adam, sin has passed to all.
The Father put into motion a plan to redeem mankind. There had to be a perfect sacrifice for sin. If payment was not made, we would all be condemned to eternal damnation. Who in all of history was without sin, spotless? In all of history there was not one sinless person. For there is no one righteous, not even one. So, God provided a sacrifice for sin…His son, Jesus Christ.
Why would God subject His Son to such a horrible death? It was for love, agape love. For whom would He do this? It was for you and me. Who are we? We are liars, murderers, adulterers, proud, boasters, idolaters, unthankful, mockers, greedy, unloving, disobedient, violent, insolent, arrogant, wicked, evil, and haters of God.
Imagine what God must have felt. He sacrificed His only Son for the wicked ones mentioned above. He was loving, loving, loving, agape love for you and me.
Now, consider what they (we) did to our Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God. He was unlawfully tried. The Father watched, loving, loving, agape love. His own people rejected Him. The Father watched, love, loving, agape love. Keep in mind; the Father could have stopped it at any time. He was blindfolded, spat upon, hit in the face, and mocked. He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, yet He spoke not a word. The Father watched, love, loving, agape love. He was brought before Gentile rulers. He was beaten until He was unrecognizable. A murderer was preferred above him. They cried, “Crucify Him”. The Father watched, brokenhearted, loving, agape love. They crushed a crown of thorns on His head, placed a robe on his torn and battered body, and knelt mocking Him calling Him, “The King of The Jews”. The Father watched, loving, loving, agape love. The Father watched as judgment was passed. Crucify Him! He watched as Christ was forced to carry His cross up Calvary Mountain. He watched as they stripped his garments from Him and cast lots for them. He watched as they drove nails or spikes into His hands and His feet. Jesus could have called 10,000 angels, but He did not. Agape love. The Father watched as they hung His Son on the cross. He heard when His Son asked Him to forgive them, “for they know not what they do”. He listened while His Son made provision for His mother. The Father poured out all the sins of the world on His Son, He darkened the skies and He sent an earthquake. The Father turned His back because Jesus had become sin for you and me. Jesus became thirsty and they gave Him sour wine to drink. He cried out, “It is finished”. They pierced His side with a spear. Blood and water ran out. The Father could have stopped it at any time but He did not. Why? Because He sent His Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save us. “For God so loved (agape) the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
This is not, praise God, the end of the story.
The Father watched as they took His Son from the cross, wrapped Him in clean linen and laid Him in a rich man’s tomb. He watched as they rolled a stone over the entrance to the tomb. He had told His disciples, just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the big fish, so He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Then He would arise. HE AROSE, HE AROSE, HALELUJAH, CHRIST AROSE!!!
Our sin debt has been paid. Our God, the only true God, is alive. He lives within my heart. He is not a statue you bow down to nor is He a bunch of dead bones in a grave somewhere. He is sitting at the right hand of God The Father. All who will come to Him will be saved.
Let us not forget what Easter is all about. It is love, Agape love, for you and me.