Each year as Easter approaches, both Suzie and I (Blossom) fight a war inside our soul. An internal conflict ensues as to whether to watch The Passion of the Christ or not. The events leading up to that fateful hour of death on an excruciating cross are horrific.
We feel drawn to watch the depiction of the crucifixion as it helps the heart and spirit prepare for Good Friday and Easter. At the same time, we are both sensitive souls and cannot bear to see the kind, gentle Jesus viciously tortured with unbridled cruelty. The taunting, the shaming, the condemnation is too much. As empaths we feel the pain viscerally… to see our Rock, our Foundation, our best Friend, nailed to the cross like a common criminal.
Betrayal comes alive and anger rises inside. We question how Judas the one Jesus loved and trusted could deliver Him up, and how Peter could deny him. Then we're reminded of our own sin and why Jesus had to die on that cross.
Every strike of the scourge tearing away His flesh makes us cringe and turn away. The heart breaks but at the same time the visual of the movie helps the ultimate sacrifice Christ made become very real. As agonizing as it is to watch, the experience blesses and humbles. And full understanding of the sacrifice of Jesus comes into focus.
Another and even more powerful reminder of all that the Easter week means is to follow the account in the reading of your Bible daily. See the weekly readings provided for you below beginning on Palm Sunday. Today!
Matthew 27:27-31 NIV
27 Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. 30 They spit on him and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
HE DID IT JUST FOR YOU
by Max Lucado
"When God entered time and became a man, He who was boundless became bound. Imprisoned in flesh. Restricted by weary-prone muscles and eyelids. For more than three decades, His once limitless reach would be limited to the stretch of an arm, His speed checked to the pace of the human feet…
Want to know the coolest thing about the coming? Not that He in an instant, went from needing nothing to needing air, food, a tub of hot water and salts for his tired feet…
Not that He refused to defend Himself when blamed for every sin since Adam. Or that He stood silent as a million guilty verdicts echoed in the tribunal of heaven and the giver of light was left in the chill of a sinner's night.
Not even that after three days in a dark hole He stepped into the Easter sunrise with a smile… But want to know the coolest thing about the One who gave up the crown of heaven for a crown of thorns?
He did it for you. Just for you.
Holy Week Bible Readings: provided by the Canadian Bible Society
HE IS NOT HERE, FOR HE IS RISEN, AS HE SAID. Matthew 28:6
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