Good Friday and Easter Sunday are pinnacle days on the Christian calendar. For us as a family, we went to church yesterday morning and on Sunday night we will be heading to the RICC (RNA showgrounds) for our Easter Sunday service. If you live in Brisbane, you are most welcome to come. (Here are the details for times.)We don’t go to church because it’s a good thing to do on a long weekend. We go because we want to celebrate the hope that Jesus’ death on a cross brought about over 2000 years ago.
If I put myself in God’s shoes, I wonder if I would have the strength to put my own flesh and blood to death to save the lives of many?
That question alone is an uncomfortable one to read. If you are unbelieving, there are many questions around the Christian faith.
The most important and often asked question is why did Jesus have to die on a cross? And what does that have to do personally for me?
It all leads back to the beginning of time when Adam and Eve were created and they lived PERFECT lives. Can you imagine a perfect world?
If we just stopped for a moment and thought about the perfect life. What would it look like to you? How would you always feel?
For me, the perfect life would be to not have any struggles, pain, fear, guilt and not being stretched to my limit… the list goes on. It would be to live a life full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faith.
In the perfect life there would be no sickness, no death, no murders, no rape, no terrorism, no fighting, no cancer, no weeping, no depression, no anxiety, no trolls, no hate mail, no negativity, no sarcasm, no judging, no bigotry, no racism, no adultery, no stealing, no assaults, no abuse, no violence, no impatience, no hunger, no poverty, no busyness, no impatience and most important of all no shame.
And yet we live in a world that is full of all this and more.
No wonder life can suck. The world is heavy with darkness. Can you feel it and can you see it?
But it wasn’t like that at the beginning.
When Adam and Eve were created they lived PERFECT lives. Again I ask can you imagine such a world?
But there was one rule – not to eat of a certain tree in the garden. I believe it was placed there because in every relationship there has to be trust. If there is no trust, there is no relationship. God didn’t create Adam and Eve to be His own Barbie dolls that he could twist and turn. He actually created humans so he could have a relationship with them. To admire their creativity. To delight in their existence. Just like a mum and dad delight in their beautiful baby. God wants that relationship with us. But it can’t be forced. This is what He felt when he made the first humans and He still loves each and every human like this no matter what they have done.
Unfortunately the trust was broken because a fallen angel (who wanted to be just like God), made it his mission to hurt God in the most painful way by creating a divide between man and God. He tempted Eve with the fruit from the tree telling her she would become just like God if she ate the fruit. She ate some and shared it with Adam, both knowing full well where the fruit had come from.
The moment that fruit was eaten, the trust between God and man was broken. It had severe consequences. Just like in a relationship. If trust is broken, the relationship often ceases or it’s at least never the same again.
But God sent himself as a man, called Jesus who walked on the Earth for approximately 33 years and was executed in the most cruelest way – hung on a cross where he suffered for over 6 hours and died an excruciatingly painful death.
When you read the four testimony accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, there are many characters who witnessed the crucifixion.
There were the religious leaders, the chief priests and leaders of the law who accused Jesus of blasphemy and wanted to see him hung because Jesus challenged their ideas and thinking.
There were those closest to Jesus who didn’t understand what was going on despite Jesus prophesying his death the years leading up to the event.
There were the thieves who were being crucified next to Jesus. One criticizing Jesus “if you are really God, save yourself and us.” Yet the other thief understood that Jesus didn’t deserve to be on the cross, and rebuked the other thief, and then asking Jesus to remember him in the afterlife.
There were fights all around until the end.
But in the end God did win, and as a result of Jesus dying on the cross, the resurrection Sunday has a personal and significant meaning that a life of trust that was broken back in the garden of Eden was restored on a tree on a hill.
It takes faith to believe what was recorded in the Bible. Faith to believe that there is a God. Faith that each of us were created by God for a relationship with Him. Faith that Jesus was God’s son and his death did happen over 2000 years ago.
Why do I have faith in God and in this story? Because I’ve had my own personal revelation of Jesus. I’ve also danced around with the devil and have realized his desire is not for my wellbeing.
You see the devil takes delight when there is sickness, death, murders, rape, terrorism, fighting, cancer, weeping, depression, anxiety, trolling, hate mail, negativity, sarcasm, judging, bigotry, racism, adultery, stealing, assaults, abuse, violence, impatience, hunger, poverty, busyness, and most important of all shame.
I don’t want to be anywhere near someone who delights in wrong and hate. Who would?
Interestingly the devil believes in Jesus. If he didn’t he wouldn’t be so hell bent on destroying lives. Sadly God is blamed for the pain we see in the world. It’s the devil’s ultimate deception.
So that cross all those years ago, was not about some freak who was killed on a cross. That man, Jesus, was in damage control, taking the weight of all the world, so that our relationship with God could not only be restored, but that perfect life we were created for could in fact become a reality in the afterlife. Jesus lived a perfect life while on earth and it was that perfection that was needed to be sacrificed to complete the restoration.
And so I end this post not to convince you of Jesus existence or that there is a God. The evidence is already there if you want to seek it.
My heart in writing this deep post is to encourage you to really work out what you believe. And make sure you seek after truth in the right place.
I crave that perfect life. A life where that intimacy with God is not interrupted with what the world deems as important and necessary. I wasn’t created to live defeated. Neither were you.
I hope you have the most blessed Easter.