This gift from my dear friend, Shirley, says it all.
And when they mocked him, they took the robe off him, put his own clothes on him, and led him away to be crucified. Matthew 27:31
It's raining today, which seems appropriate for Good Friday. This morning as I read in my daily devotional book, Another Day of Victory, by Ulf Ekman, I found myself reminiscing about my last trip to Israel when I walked down the Via Dolorosa--where Jesus took his final, lonely, journey. The crowds who had previously cried, "Hosanna!" the week before, were now yelling "Crucify him!" My, how we can change our tune in just an instant.
But far worse, later that day, as he hung on that lonely cross, he was separated from God, his Father. I won't go into detail about the excruciating pain Jesus suffered for us, but as he hung there in agony, he saw much more than we could ever imagine. He saw our future, with--and without--Him. For us, he suffered, bled, and died. But there is more to this story...
Today, as I do every year, I'm going to watch The Passion of the Christ, and then on Sunday I'll attend a traditional Easter service at the little Methodist church around the corner. I'm longing to sing the hymns about Christ's resurrection. The Old Rugged Cross, He Lives (up from the grave he arose!), and more. Why? Because the resurrection is not the end of this wonderful story--it's just the beginning!
Easter is a time for family dinners, Easter egg hunts, and all the other traditional stuff. But let us always remember the true meaning of Easter as we pray,
Lord, death could not hold you, and death has been eternally conquered. Thank you, Lord, that you rose to grant me eternal life! Amen!
And that, my dear friends, is Amazing Grace.