When you think of Easter, what do you think of?
- Another Holiday to take off work?
- Terrible traffic jams when travelling?
- A time to work and get paid overtime?
- Egg hunts?
- Fun Family Time?
While some of these thing listed above may be ok, and could be great things to do over the long Good Friday and Easter Weekend We must never forget what Easter is.
Jesus of Nazareth rode into Jerusalem on a brand new colt that was never ridden. He was much accepted and the Bible says that a very great multitude spread their garment in the way and other cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way… This makes me think of a red carpet entrance. The Multitude went ahead saying Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the Highest. Matthew 21:10 says, and when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved saying, who is this? The city was moved…. Jesus spoke truth to them that week but it was not well received. The people that were so excited to see him and to put on such an entrance for him earlier was now, just a few days later are now ready to kill him.
Jesus was busy getting ready for his final hours here on earth before his death, he knew these things and that time was running out for him and that his hour was drawing nigh. He kept teaching and showing people what to do and how to live. He was visiting with people, spending time with the ones he loved. He had what called “The Last Supper” with his disciples is telling them how to proceed and how to remember him. He ate a meal with them, and then showed great humility and took a towel and water and washed the disciple’s feet. He showed them love. They sung a hymn and then went out to Jesus place of quiet place to pray.
He left the disciples and went on a little farther and pleaded with the Father to make a way of escape for him, come up with a different plan, an easier plan, one with less pain… in agony he prayed but always saying not my will but thine O Father. Jesus was just as we are looking for an easier way if possible but willing to subject himself to God’s will and plan. He came back to find his disciples sleeping three times and then told them that it was time to get going because his time was at hand.
Judas, his very own Judas betrayed him… for a few dollars!! Are you serious Judas? Even after the warning that Jesus gave you at the table that it would be better for you not to have been born? How could you do this to me? Peter was acting violent, and pulled a sword out and cut the ear off the high priest servant. Then ALL the disciples fled and forsook him. What happen to all his followers? The tough ones that said they would go to death with him? The going got a little tough and they all disappear!! Jesus is deserted and left to fin for himself. Only Peter follows him, but afar off, not sure what to expect but curious enough to follow at a safe distance.
Jesus is questioned and tried. False accusations are brought and served on him. They lied about who he was and what he did. They hit him. They spit on him. They pushed him around. They slapped him. They jeered and mocked him, saying “who hit this time”? Jesus was going thru some serious ridicule, yet opened not his mouth. Faintly being forced to answer a question he simply agreed that he was the son of God and that he will see for himself soon enough. This only outraged them and called him a blasphemer.
At the same time Peter is standing off to the side being asked if he was one of Jesus disciples, and he is swearing that he doesn’t even know Jesus….Then the rooster crowed!!!! Jesus turned and looked at Peter, their eyes met!! Peter couldn’t handle it and went out and wept bitterly!!! How could he?? How could he have done that? Really did I just do that? I just denied my Lord…..3 times!!! I can’t believe myself. Can’t you hear Peter groaning??
Jesus was then sent to Pilate for more trying. Pilate’s wife sent him note sayings please don’t have anything to do with this good man; I haven’t slept much all night because of dreams I had of him. Pilate washed his hands and said I won’t have anything to do with crucifying this just man, I turn him over to you and you can do with him as you please. I don’t want his blood on my hands. The people said no problem we will take the blame, release Barabbas to us.
Jesus was led away to be crucified. They placed a crown of thorns on his head. They nailed him to a wooden cross. He was raised on the cross for a very painful death. Taking on the sin of the whole world and taking it to the grave with him. Dying for my sin in the face of so much hate, mocking and abuse….for me. For ME. He said it is complete and then gave his last breath. The earth was dark in the middle of the day, there was an earthquake and rocks were split in too and many believers that were dead rose from their graves. The soldiers were scared. This was no ordinary man for sure. They break the legs of those hung with him and came to Jesus but did not break his leg because he was already dead. They pierced his side and blood and water came out.
Joseph and Nicodemus ask Pilate for the body of Jesus and were granted permission to bury the body of Jesus. These two men were secret follows of Jesus because they were afraid what it would do to their reputation and status to follow Jesus. But interestingly these two secret followers came together to give Jesus a kingly burial. Joseph provided a brand new tomb where never a man laid, and Nicodemus provided the spices in abundance, the Bible says 100 pounds of spices. This was no cheap burial. These two, with nothing to gain and everything to lose so it appeared came to Jesus in the broad daylight and associated with him in his death. I can’t help to wonder if Nicodemus still understood all that Jesus had told him about being born again. He may not have known but I think he understood that Jesus was worth the risk of coming out of secret in his faith in God.
It was over. Death had won. They sealed the tomb to protect the body from being stolen and some wild story being started that he arose.
But Easter Morning, the ladies came to the tomb and had a real shock!! An earthquake, an angel, like lightning and in white raiment rolled away the stone and sat on it, and said “fear not ye, for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified, he is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come see the place where the Lord lay”.
JESUS HAD RISEN AND WAS ALIVE!!!!!!!!!
O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? Jesus The Life Crushed satan and death. Death had nothing on our Lord. Satan is powerful but God is ALLPOWERFUL!!!! Thank You My Savior!!!!
By his stripes we are healed
By his nail pierced hands we’re free
By his blood, we’re washed clean
Now we have the victory.
The power of sin is broken,
Jesus overcame it all,
He has won our freedom,
Jesus has won it all,
This Easter let’s take some time to really remember what Easter is really about. Our precious savior died and rose again to conquer and defeat my sin. He is my only hope of Heaven. My only chance at salvation. Thank You God For what you have done for me. You loved me even when I was yet a sinner, you went to the cross because you knew I would need an advocate, someone to stand in my place because I am undone and without you I am as filthy rags. Thank you for coming to earth and taking my place on the cross. Thank you for saving me and I pray that others may come to know you this Easter weekend as we think of all you did. THANK YOU JESUS!!