Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Reflections

It's a little late, and I am just reflecting on the blessing my Lord gave me when he willingly laid down his life on the cross for me. For me...

My sin drove the nails. So often, I remember that Jesus died for "our sins." How often do I personalize it and remember it was my sins? Not often enough. Oh how grateful I am that Jesus loved me enough to pay the price for me.

On Good Friday, I went to the service at our church, and then to another. I reflected on the suffering of my Lord. When I sang, "Wondrous Cross" and "Amazing Love" I truly felt the price that was paid when Jesus willingly endured all the pain and horrific cruelty he went through...for me. As I knelt to take communion, I could hear Jesus whispering "this is my body which is broken for you..." For me...

After our church service I went to Wendy's (my sis') church. She was going to be performing a dance that she felt God had given her to share. It was a powerful service focusing on the seven final statements Jesus spoke from the cross.

At times, the service was graphic and unsettling as I watched images from "The Passion of the Christ" movie. Even the imagery used by the two pastors was graphic. It was almost as if I traveled to the cross...and watched my Savior be beaten, tormented, mocked, scoffed, whipped, bruised, wounded, spat upon, and forsaken by the Father he had been in communion with since before the beginning of time. What horror! It made me feel sick inside...a groaning in my soul.

When Wendy stood up to dance. She portrayed the suffering of Christ. Her face grimaced as Jesus was pierced, and her expression was mournful as the nails were driven. As Jesus was lifted up, her body shook. As Jesus hung on the cross - her face was searching upward...Where is my Father? Where is my God? It was obvious Wendy was feeling everything she was expressing. (I am getting tears again just writing about it! It was sooooo very powerful!)

Wendy had shared in a phone call her knees and feet were severely bruised from practicing this dance so much. The "big sister" in me said, "Well, be sure you take some ibuprofen before you dance tomorrow." She replied, "No...don't you see? It's made me realize this is what his body was like when he endured this. He was bruised and in pain. It's made me understand even more what he went through for me." For me...

I've been trying to remember over this weekend what Jesus did for me. Willingly. Tonight I realized that when Jesus was crucified, everyone who loved him waited in mourning until the reality of the empty tomb was realized. I am sure they grieved. I am sure they sat in shock after all that they had witnessed and heard.

However, I am blessed to know the end of the story even as I reflect on Christ's suffering. I KNOW Jesus came back to life. He is risen! He is victorious over death! Nothing can hold him in the grave - nothing could hold him on the cross - nothing! He is risen!

I rejoice with believers around the world and celebrate our risen Lord!

The hope that I have is that Christ is risen...for me. And for you. And for anyone who chooses to believe in the risen Lord Jesus Christ!

Christ the Lord is risen today - Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say - Alleluia!
Death IN VAIN forbids him rise - Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise - Alleluia!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!!!

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