My three favorite holidays are Christmas, Easter and Independence Day. This week- beginning with Palm Sunday, the day Jesus was welcomed with palm branches and ending with Good Friday. A day of death. Of atonement. Of one innocent man dying a horrible and painful death so that all may live. Not because we asked Him too, but because He loved us. In all of our broken, ugly, dirtiness. He loved us. Even as our sins nailed him to that piece of wood.
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Matthew 21:9
But the story doesn’t end with that black day on the calendar… no. Sunday came, and with it new life! Resurrection from the ash of our brokenness. The world- history changed on that Friday. Innocence died, the very person we had been waiting for with eager anticipation. The same person we had pinned our hopes to had come- and we crucified Him. We took the son of God- and nailed Him to a tree because we couldn’t believe that something that simple was true- was right. No surly it would be harder? It couldn’t be that easy. No.
How dark it must have seemed to those who walked with Jesus day in a day out. The man they had grown to love- who they watched teach, heal, and love the most broken ‘unlovable’ people. He was a good man! Why? How could a good God allow this to happen? He had served God faithfully. Why? Where was the plan in this? Couldn’t He have swept in and saved His son? Couldn’t He have done something? Anything but this? Wasn’t He powerful enough? And then the doubt began to creep in, no doubt… Was He the son of God? He preformed miracles- couldn’t he have saved himself. Called fire from the sky- or simply disappeared? Why did He allow them to nail Him to that cross.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
The saddest words in a story are “The End.” To all earthly view points, this was the end. All those great things Jesus had done in His lifetime, all those miracles all those lives He changed, people He healed, hearts he pieced back together. It all came to a screeching halt. “It Is Finished”. He said it Himself. God turned the page and began a new chapter.
But instead of allowing us to wallow in our own understanding, instead of leaving us with the consequences of our crimes, God raised Him from the dead. The final sacrifice. A sacrifice that bridged the gap between the father and the child. So that nothing. Nothing could separate us from Him again.
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
It should have been me. It should have been you. But not Him. He was innocent- and yet He loved us so much that He died for all of our sins. Not just the little stuff, but the big ugly stuff.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
No matter how dark it may seem always remember Sunday is coming.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33