April 21, 2011
Indulge me for a moment. Put yourself into this story and really think about it as you read it.
Your neighbor is very sick. Dying, actually. He needs a kidney. There's no way around it. The only problem is that you are the only match for him in the whole world. So, you agree to donate one of yours. It's the only way to save his life. So, the surgery is scheduled. The night before, you have your favorite dinner with your family, you know, just in case. At this point, you're probably starting to feel some fear and concern. You might even share a few tender words with those you cherish the most. You want to be sure to leave nothing left unsaid. You're thinking about what you are about to experience. There's the routine stuff- blood work, paperwork, you know the drill. You're probably starting to question your decision, at the same time, realizing that you really don't have a choice, being the person you are. You're just doing what needs to be done. You're probably not real excited about having to go under the knife. Especially because there's a catch. You've got to go through this surgery without the benefit of anesthesia or pain medication. They are going to strap you to the operating table and slice open your flesh and cut out one of your kidneys with you fully aware of everything that is happening and in so much pain that there are no words to adequately describe it. Imagine the drive to the hospital. What thoughts are going through your mind? Are you reconsidering your decision? You could easily turn around. Run. Hide. Why would you volunteer for this knowing fully what lies ahead of you? Are you nuts?!?
I have been thinking back to the week before THE crucifixion. I've been imagining how the human Jesus was feeling. Dread? Sadness? Fear? He knew the sacrifice He was about to make. He knew what He was facing. He knew that He was going to have to go through unfathomable, barbaric torture! Yet, He did it anyway. Have you ever tried to grasp what He really endured for us? Jesus not only died for us, he died in such a painful, humiliating way. Shouldn't we live for Him?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
That, my friend, is Easter. It's not only the moment of death of our Savior. It's the time that led up to it. It's the sacrifice. And it's the Resurrection! He lives! He defeated the grave. Far cry from chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chickens, huh?