Friday, April 22, 2011

Considering the Cross

I’ve spent this week trying to feel what the followers of Jesus may have felt during that first Holy week. I came to the conclusion that they had no clue what was going to happen. Ok, getting to that conclusion didn’t take very long because even Jesus’ closest friends really didn’t know what was going to happen to Him until it was happening. I did feel nervous throughout the week though. I wonder if Jesus was nervous during that week or if He didn’t get nervous until Thursday, the day He was arrested.

This morning (Friday) I wondered how the Believers felt waking up to the news that their leader had been arrested. I think they would have felt shock and disbelief because Jesus was so upstanding and had never broken the law. You never expect a religious leader to be arrested. Were the Believers afraid, embarrassed, maybe ashamed?

I think they may have been afraid for the future of this new group who followed the teachings of Jesus. Did they wonder if a new teacher would step up and continue to lead them? Did they think that the group would dissipate now that the Leader was gone? Maybe they were even afraid for their own lives; would they themselves be beaten and killed?

I’m sure some of them were embarrassed. I know, like today, many of them endured the ridicule of family and friends. How many people teased their loved ones while Jesus was suffering? I can almost hear it.

“This ‘God’ of yours, this Holy Messiah, Savior, how can He save you when He can’t even save Himself?”

Just thinking this brings me to tears. How many of them agreed with their family members? How many of them broke the heart of the God who was suffering just for them?

How many followers had been Jewish? I wonder how many of them spent the Sabbath (the next day, Saturday) pleading with God for forgiveness thinking they had sinned by following this Jesus. How many felt ashamed that they had forsaken hundreds of years of family tradition and religion to follow a man who claimed to be God and now that man was dying a criminal’s death?

Did some have hope? Jesus said over and over again “the Temple would be rebuilt in three days.” Most people thought He was talking about a building but did some of them understand He was talking about Himself? I like to think someone out there got it. Would you have understood, would you have had hope?

I am not a pastor. I’ve had no formal education in theology. I just think that maybe this is how I might have felt had I been there on the very dark Friday so many years ago.

I have felt ‘heavy’ all week and especially today. I was on Facebook around 5PM this afternoon and saw that a friend wrote “It is finished.” Those were Jesus’ last words as a mortal. I nearly broke into tears. I was reminded today that Jesus was in control the entire time; He Himself commended His spirit to God.

I can only imagine the joy that was felt on that Sunday morning when Jesus’ tomb was empty and Jesus Himself appeared to Mary and later the disciples. As word spread all of the despair and shame faded like frozen breath dissipates in the winter. In an instant a new Hope sprung to life, all the fears are quenched; all the doubts are put to rest.

Can you imagine what was going on in the hearts of people; the rejoicing going on in the homes of Believers?

“My Savior has indeed saved Himself and He has saved me as well!”

The best part is He has not only saved those who were with Him so many years ago, He has saved everyone who believes in Him. All you have to do is believe that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose again. Jesus is your Savior and as a pastor friend always put it “wants to be the boss of your life.” This doesn’t mean He is going to tell you what to eat and when to go to bed. It just means that you will love Him with all your heart, read the Bible (it really is relevant to life today); pray to seek God’s will for you.

**If you want to read the story of Jesus in its entirety, you can find it in the Bible. Look for the books of Matthew Mark Luke or John (they are all in that order near the back). If you have any questions concerning the life or death of Jesus, please email me or if you are comfortable enough, leave it in the comment box.**

As always comments/corrections are welcome, just be polite.

Have A Blessed Resurrection Day


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