“Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
I saw the sunset today. It was beautiful, but not extraordinarily so. Then I thought of something.
Every sunset is a kind of picture of Easter and death, burial, and resurrection. Even the blood-red color of the sky seemed significant.
Two days from now, we celebrate Easter, or if you prefer, Resurrection Sunday. Whatever you call it, the reason is the same. Jesus, the same who was crucified and buried, walked out of that tomb, holding the keys to death and hell, and forever changing history as we know it.
I participated in a Good Friday service featuring seven stations of the cross with artwork and Scripture, along with prayer prompts. I blogged about it last year and you can read it here if you want:
Again, I was struck by the incredible price Jesus paid for me. As the Bible says, very rarely will anyone be willing to die for a friend, much less a stranger. Yet while I was yet a sinner and an enemy to God, Jesus died for me. If I really think about it, I am overwhelmed.
Here’s a closing thought from one of my favorites, C. S. Lewis:
“God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them. He creates the universe, already foreseeing – or should we say ‘seeing’? there are no tenses in God – the buzzing cloud of flies about the cross, the flayed back pressed against the uneven stake, the nails driven through the mesial nerves, the repeated incipient suffocation as the body droops, the repeated torture of back and arms as it is time after time, for breath’s sake, hitched up. If I may dare the biological image, God is a ‘host’ who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and ‘take advantage of’ Him. Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves.”