Easter, Jesus Christ, Love, Redemption, Resurrection, Sacrifice
I just saw a really timely movie for this season of Easter. It’s called, “A Case For Christ”, based on a book written by the former atheist, Lee Strobel. I won’t give the plot of the movie away, although the book has been available over many years now and is probably familiar to many of you. It’s basically an accounting of what the title suggests, an investigative reporter’s discovery and evidentiary investigation into the truth about Jesus Christ. Based on leads, evidence and by following the story wherever it takes him, Mr. Strobel endeavors to discover a way to disprove and discredit what is revealed in the New Testament Gospels once and for all! But suffice it to say, it doesn’t go as planned! As a believer, this story of Strobel’s probing investigation is a great reminder of God’s omniscience and the amazing gift of love He gave the world through the birth, life, and crucifixion of Jesus.
When I was younger and attending church routinely by habit, I understood and processed the events of the life and death of Jesus upon that cross to a limited extent. But it has only been through a process of spiritual growth and a great desire to draw nearer in relationship to Jesus by choice, that I have come to truly appreciate the overwhelming sacrifice that He made! It was something which was often softened and sanitized for the sake of us believers. We knew He went to the cross, but we couldn’t truly grasp what He actually physically endured until recent years when the reality of it all was more truthfully and graphically depicted on movie screens through films such as “The Passion of The Christ” and in this one, by way of explanation. To understand the physical impact of scourging and crucifixion upon human flesh is to realize the tremendous and undeniable sacrifice Christ chose to make for us all! When we really allow ourselves to contemplate that horrific physical suffering which was necessary as a blood atonement for the redemption of sin for all time from all beings, it is truly beyond our scope of thought. Pause and contemplate that unimaginable sacrifice, it will probably make your soft heart ache for the sake of such love!
And that physical suffering is a great part of the proof which finally converted a reticent and stubborn atheist in Strobel. He had surely grown up hearing a sanitized version of the crucifixion as a child before he chose to avidly deny God’s existence in adulthood. But in its actual detail, beyond horrific to imagine, the physical reality of the crucifixion is the telltale evidence of not only the absolute truth of Jesus’ resurrection but also of God’s infinite love. It is only a Divine being which could possibly overcome death endured upon the cross! For those who still choose to deny it, it is not compelling enough to sway their hearts hardened by disbelief and denial, but for hearts willing to ponder such an unselfish act of love, it is undeniable and indisputable! For believers, who need no additional evidence of the proof of His existence, their faith is enough because God’s love is all they ever needed as proof! Once you know His love within, there is no need to be further convinced of His existence. You know because you know! That love lives within you, changing your heart and life forever! It doesn’t make you perfect, or better than others, it just makes you different from who you were before!
Easter is the day we remember that infinite, defining and amazing gift of God’s love! The day when Christ willingly subjected Himself to ridicule, betrayal, torture, false accusations and ultimately, death upon the cross, is the most meaningful day for believers! It’s proof that God so loved the world, that He was willing to spare us all the relentless condemnation of our sinful nature, of an eternity, spent apart from Him. By sacrificing His one and only beloved Son for our sake, as the Gospels and history recount, God remedied for all time the constant need for us to endeavor to atone for our sin through blood sacrifices. We ourselves could never be good enough to bridge that sinful chasm which separates us from God, we’re always sinful by nature. So Jesus bore the brunt of all our sin for all time, the truly innocent and pure lamb, the blood sacrifice slaughtered for the sake of all of us so that we would no longer be separated from our Father! Jesus is the bridge over the chasm! And my heart aches from the weight of all that love, when I contemplate such a sacrifice for my sake and what it means for my eternity!