What’s the big deal?
The Friday before Easter--just another day to get ready for the weekend and make sure we have the baskets, candy, egg hunts and new outfits all in order. Might even be a good day to pick out a church service to attend on Sunday morning.
But, oh… Good Friday is so much more!
It is THE day we remember that Christ CHOSE US- He said: "Yes to humanity- Yes to Us!" He willingly suffered a criminal's gruesome death all because He loved us!
A day of remembrance.
A day to appreciate the wheat kernel.
What does a wheat kernel possibly have to do with Easter?
Days before his death, Jesus himself tells us in John 12:23-24:
“Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels--a plentiful harvest of new lives.”
A wheat kernel that must die or become dormant for the seed to germinate and produce multiple new life.
A single "live" kernel is only alive for itself. It is through the death of self that new life is possible.
Jesus is that wheat kernel and death on the cross was the mechanism that provided a way to new life.
Three crosses were looming large on the hill.
Three crosses with Jesus prominent in the middle.
Ever consider why there were three that were crucified that day? Why not five? No one else needed punishment?
John Barnett in his book, "Three Crosses" explains the three crosses represent choices and two destinies.
A criminal to the left of Jesus and another criminal to the right; one chose Jesus and the other didn’t. One found eternal life and the other found only death- separation from God.
"One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”’- Luke 23:39-43
There are STILL three crosses today and everyone must choose-
you ARE on one side or the other.
Jesus on the cross cannot be ignored.
You either accept or you don’t.
He is the wheat kernel that died so that many would live. It is through His action on the cross that we have a chance to restore our relationship with God.
So, I ask you…. what side are you on?
Do you celebrate Easter appreciating the love of Christ and embracing the great sacrifice and gift he has extended or do you choose the other and deny the Cross with the focus only on bunnies, candy, and egg hunts?
The choice is yours!
May we always see you in the center of our life and may we choose you, Jesus and accept your gift of life. We are so thankful that you were willing to die so that our relationship with God could be restored and we have new life. You are the way, the truth, and the life. Amen
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” - Hebrews 10:19-23