There have been photos in the news this week that have broken my heart. They have brought me to tears and filled me with such an overwhelming sense of helplessness that all I could do was fall to my knees. However, this upcoming holiday is a reminder to me that there is still hope in a broken world. Easter is so much more than just eggs and bunnies. Easter is a symbol of hope, joy, and peace in a world full of pain.
As I think about Jesus’ last hours before he died I think about him sitting in the garden of Gethsemane while the rest of his disciples slept. As Jesus sat there praying, the Bible says he began to sweat blood as he wept. It is physiologically possible to sweat blood under situations of severe and excruciating stress. Jesus was experiencing that much agony because of a much deeper reason than just his upcoming physical death. Jesus is God, and God is all knowing. Because of this, he knew the true depth of what he was going to die for. This really hit me as I began to think about it.
He knew about all the wars, killing, suffering, wickedness, and hate that was going to happen in the centuries following his death and resurrection. He knew a cruel man was going to attempt to wipe out an entire race while the world stood by and watched, he knew babies would be killed by the thousands, he knew reckless people would harm innocent children, and he knew millions of people would live their lives with hatred in their hearts against him and their fellow human beings. Jesus knew all of this and he had to bear the weight of that sin for the rest of eternity on his shoulders in that moment. Jesus knew that he would be spat on; he knew that his name would be trampled upon; he knew those who loved him would be ridiculed, tortured, and killed.
As I see pictures of innocent children suffering because of other people’s decisions I feel completely broken and overwhelmed. That’s just for one situation. One child. One moment. Jesus had to take on the entire burden of every wicked, unkind, and hateful act for all of mankind–past, present, and future. I can’t imagine what he felt in that moment when he said to God “Thy will be done.”
Yet, in the midst of all of this Jesus brings us hope because he still chose to take those burdens upon himself. I can’t pretend to understand the will of God or why things happen the way they do but I can say that Jesus brings hope to a broken world. He brings peace to those who are suffering and he brings joy to the hopeless. Jesus is the reason through all the sadness and hate in this world, I can still see love. Jesus brings healing.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. -Jesus Christ
At the time of the cross, Jesus was fully human. In my own humanity, I cannot emotionally process some of the cruel acts that happen on this planet but Jesus, being fully God and fully human, had to deal with every single sinful act that was going to occur from the beginning of time until the end of this present earth. Jesus knew all of this and he still chose to take the weight of this burden on his shoulders and to die for the sins of all mankind.
I am amazed by the grace of Jesus Christ and I am overwhelmed by his love.
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How can I not shout this from every rooftop and every platform? How can I not say this to anyone who will listen? I have so much hope and so much joy. Why?
Let me tell you a little secret friends:
Jesus has already won.
As Easter comes this year, take a moment to soak in the hope of Jesus Christ. Jesus has beaten death. He died and rose again three days later. He has beaten all the sins and wickedness of this world. He offers eternal life to anyone who chooses to love him.
If the choice is between this world and all it’s suffering or Jesus, then I choose Jesus.
Happy Easter–He is risen indeed!