Friday, April 06, 2012
No Easter Discount
When Jesus was on the cross, where were you?
As the retail sign implies, if we think of Jesus as going to the cross by Himself, we’ve bought Easter at a discount. And that’s no bargain.
While enduring the awful human torment of carrying a shameful cross through the streets of Jerusalem and out to Calvary on the edge of the city, Jesus—God Himself—knew what was before Him, and through the pain He was overjoyed.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 Italics mine.)
Seemingly all alone in His tortured trek through town and the many people lining the streets, Jesus held a fantastic secret: He was taking them with Him. They thought they were onlookers to a tragedy; He knew they were participants, not just in the cause, but in the act.
An incredible, miraculous, retroactive and future fact of Easter is that Jesus’ faithfulness to the cross was the initial act of bringing to an end one creation—darkened, stumbling, sin frustrated mankind—and of making another—a glory-sharing, innocent and holy new race. That was His joy, and now it’s ours!
On the cross and knowing what was coming in three days, Jesus reached for you in the crowd—the crowd in the past, the crowd right in front of Him, and the crowd in the future—and accomplished God’s timeless desire, union with His people. He didn’t simply hold you close, He brought you in. Jesus removed what hindered us and brought us into Himself, where there can be no distance, no transgression and no fault, making us safe and secure with Him, who loves us perfectly.
When Jesus rose and fairly strutted out of the tomb, as I picture it, He was full and full of joy! We were in Him, and He was joyously satisfied, just as He planned.
(See Romans 6:1-7; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:6-7)