With Easter being today, I think we all need a reminder of what exactly God did for us. It can be really easy to think about specific things that go along in your life, and sometimes we forget (I do especially) what an amazing sacrifice Jesus gave for us.
All of our lives we are taught in church that Jesus was amazing. His life was amazing, his sacrifice for us was amazing, his rising from the dead was amazing. Amazing, awesome, great. You say it, but do you feel it? Do you ever just think really hard about it, or think about it from a perspective outside your own and really feel it when you say, “Jesus is amazing.”
When you talk about something all the time, it becomes less and less significant and more of just a normal thing. Like when you say a word over and over again and it just becomes a jumble of sounds instead of something that really means anything. That’s kind of how our view of the cross can become sometimes, at least mine can. You’ve got it memorized, how unfair the trial was, how Jesus acted so humbly, how he fought for each breath on the cross, how he could’ve stopped any time but didn’t, how He rose again, like he said he would.
I have this book and it’s called Jesus, it’s a daily devotional and it focuses specifically on the adult life of Jesus, just that. It focuses on many specific things that I would like to discuss and hopefully bring into a new light for you.
First of all, the fact that this was all planned. Jesus knew all along what he was going to have to do. He might have even dreaded it a little bit. But not once did he stray from his plan. So this just goes to show that it wasn’t some random act. It was all designed, perfectly, so that we could be not only in awe but have the comfort knowing that God is in such control, we don’t even realize it.
Secondly, what is amazing is that when Jesus was on the cross, He experienced total separation from God. This is something I don’t think we focus on nearly enough. Total, complete separation from God. Like God wasn’t even there. Can you imagine how that must’ve felt, being so covered in sin that the God of the Universe refuses to look at you? Here Jesus was, dying on the cross, and he had on him every single sin. Right from Adam and all the way up until the last sin ever committed. Every murder, every act of adultery, every lie, sins that we probably can’t even imagine. It was so vile and degrading that God couldn’t even look at him! All the sins we commit, and God still looks at us. But Jesus did this so that we could never be in this situation. Jesus was the thing that brought us to God, and the only way He could do that was by putting Himself farther away for a period of time. He screamed, “My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?” And got no answer. But he said those words so we would never have to.
Thirdly what is amazing is what Jesus said on the cross. First: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” He said this of his enemies, the ones that put him on the cross! Could we ever have that kind of love? Second, he tells the thief on the cross next to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Amidst his own suffering and pain, as well as bearing the sins of the whole world, He takes the time and the energy to say this, to offer forgiveness to someone he doesn’t even know. When Jesus says he is thirsty..isn’t it crazy that God can get thirsty? That he can feel tired, lost, hungry? Out of all the things Jesus could have said, he says this, to show us he is human. He feels what we feel, and he knows. He is God but he is human. And then, when Jesus finally says those glorious three words: “It is finished.” It’s done. Your sin is gone. The devil’s defeated. Death is no longer. You don’t have to worry any longer. It’s done.
He is Risen! Alleluia!