Have you ever watched a movie or TV show full of suspense and found your entire family yelling at the screen. Or maybe it was a book; you read it until the wee hours of the morning and wanted to literally hurl the book across the room when you finished it because you hated the ending that much. Personally as an author I’ve argued with myself about killing various characters off. I remember in one book knowing this character had to die but sitting at the computer crying as I wrote the scene. I knew it had to happen for the story line to progress, even if I hated to do it.
Have you ever wondered that perhaps the angels had similar moments when Jesus was brutally nailed to the cross? How did heaven feel when he died? Maybe they all watched the scene from afar waiting for that moment where they could intervene and when it didn’t happen they were beyond upset and confused. I’m sure the devil watched in glee as the scene unfolded. He thought he’d won. He thought the story was over.
Jesus wasn’t some character in a book or movie. He was a real life person, who was brutally murdered for our sins. He willingly paid the price for our redemption. His mother stood by watching. Heaven watched as if they were watching a horror movie. His father in heaven knew what was happening had to happen, but I’m sure it didn’t make it any easier.
As most of you know Resurrection Sunday is this weekend. It’s not just about bunnies or eggs. It’s about Jesus Christ who loved humanity so much that he willingly laid down his life so that we might have a way to go to heaven and have eternal life. Many churches will play passion plays this weekend. I often joke that if Jim Caviezel (the actor that played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ) goes to church it must be odd going this time of year when his likeness is thrown on many church billboards. While we do need to remember the brutality of the cross so that we might repent of our sins, and realize how much Jesus and the Father love us; we also need to remember the story doesn’t end at the cross. The end is not there. The price of sin may have been finished. However the rest of the story is where the victory lies. Jesus defeated death, Hell, and the grave. The devil may have thought he won, but he didn’t. It’s awesome to know that through the blood of Jesus we too are victorious (Rev 12:11)
So as you all spend your Resurrection Weekend going to church, having egg hunts, too many chocolate bunnies, and trying desperately to keep the kids dressed up without them jumping in a mud puddle; remember that the story doesn’t end at the cross. Jesus isn’t still nailed to it. He’s not still being brutally whipped. He already paid the price of sin, so that we can accept what He’s done and walk forward in victory. May we live on the side of the Resurrection and know we have ‘Sweet Victory in Jesus!’
Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!