Hello Sweet Cheer: What does today mean?


What does today mean?

     I grew up in the Methodist church.  I've celebrated Easter for the past 19 years.  Easter is a concept I've been quite familiar with over the years. I can remember reciting every Sunday, "...on the third day He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sitteth at right hand of God the Father Almighty..."  This is something that was talked about.  We celebrated the resurrection of our Lord!  And Amen for that.  He is Risen, He is alive and well, His presence is among us.  But what is it that we didn't talk as much about?  His death.  What He endured.  The fact that the SAVIOR of the world was HUNG, BEATEN, and TORTURED for MY sins.  My God DIED to bring me back to His Father.  I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but this is heavy stuff.

     Today is Good Friday.  Today represents the day Jesus was tried by Pilate and Herod.  The day the entire crowd chose to free a criminal, and shouted about Jesus, "CRUCIFY HIM. CRUCIFY HIM!"  Picture that for me a minute.  Pilate is standing there, crowds and crowds of people below, with Barabbas the prisoner on one side, and Jesus the Son of Man on the other.  Pilate asks, "Who shall I release to you?" And without hesitation, the people erupted in requests to CRUCIFY my Jesus.  Is your heart breaking yet?

     We are a sinful people.  And yes, the story ends in a celebration of Victory over the grave, but today we remember the suffering Jesus endured to SAVE MY LIFE.  I am not worthy of mercy, grace, or forgiveness.  I am not worthy of a Savior who didn't just die, but was PUT TO DEATH.  Friends, Jesus who was without sin, who endured the same temptations we face daily, who walked this Earth some 2,000 years ago, who is Holy and Worthy to be PRAISED, was offered up as the Perfect Sacrifice for my shortcomings.  He took on the SINS OF THE WORLD.  Wait... He what?  Yes, you heard correctly... He TOOK ON THE SINS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD.  People, He experienced the physical and emotional pain and suffering of every past sin, current sin and future sin.  My little brain can't even imagine what it would be like to pay the price for ONE man's sin, much less the sins of the ENTIRE world.

I could go on for pages, but I'll leave you with this.

     What does today mean?  How will you spend your time today?  Will you play church today?  Sure, you may attend a Good Friday service this evening and that's great!  I'll be attending one with my family.  But will you go, sit through a sermon, sing songs and go home?  Will you take your family to hunt for Easter eggs?  Maybe you'll go to the mall and take a picture with the Easter Bunny?  Will this weekend be about going through the motions?  What will today, tomorrow and Sunday actually mean in your life?

I'll leave you to ponder these questions.

Peace & Blessings!


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