“The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hand of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” (Luke 24:6-7)
I love to glean from those I admire. I have been so fortunate with the friends in my life. Some have gone home to be with the Lord and others remain, but each has added to my life in ways that they are unaware of. How fortunate one is to be surrounded by others, whose characters enrich one’s own and make us better people.
It is also an enjoyable pastime to read the biographies of men and women whose very lives changed history, improving the plight of humanity, some, unaware of how much richer the world was with them in it. They left it a better place by what they accomplished or simply by leaving an example to others, of how to live well.
When reading the accounts of Jesus’ life in each of the Gospels, One who exemplified the influence of a life well lived, there is a marked difference to any biography ever written. In biographies about other individuals, the major content of the book deals with their lives and accomplishments, while, for the most part, their deaths are given a short chapter, maybe two, at the end. Their lives are the highlight, while their deaths are but a footnote, in comparison.
Not so with Jesus. In the Gospel accounts, one-third of Matthew’s gospel is concerning His death; one-third of Mark’s; one-fourth of Luke’s; and one-half of John’s. This should shout of the importance of His death. Many only look at His life and regard Him as a great man and a great teacher. His teachings were revolutionary and the miracles He performed were carefully documented, although, it was added that if all He did could be written down, the world would not be able to contain the books. (John 21:25)
In spite of all this…of all that He did and all He accomplished…His death was the highlight of each Gospel. Why?…because that is why He came. He came to die. Before He entered history as a human, He saw the cross. He knew why He was entering human history…for us. To redeem us…to buy us back…through an agonizing death on a cross…and yet, He came. A love that is beyond our comprehension.
That is why Easter is such a joyous and exciting time for the Christian church. On the cross, He cried out, ‘It is finished’, and at the empty tomb, the angel proclaimed, ‘He is risen!’‘It is finished’…the penalty for our sins, paid for by the One who made us. ‘He is risen’…eternal life for all who will believe and commit themselves to Him.
Happy Easter, everyone!
Written by Valerie Morse