It's spring again, the loveliest and most hopeful time of the year — "the Jewish spring," a feast of freedom and the Christian celebration of freedom — redemption. A blessed Resurrection Sunday and Passover feast to all.
Christ Jesus' cross and tomb can't be separated from His Resurrection. While we rejoice that He defeated sin, death and hell, we mustn't forget why and how He got there and what He went through beforehand.
The Roman cross was a cruel tool of torture and death unprecedented over all other forms of capital punishment. It was a tediously painful and gory process designed to eke out the very last sliver of pain and humiliation before death's relief.
Can we imagine betrayal by a confidant, being denied three times by a very dear friend and being abandoned by our entire closest circle of friends and family?
Imagine being identified to your enemies by a disloyal kiss from a traitor who is a close companion.
Can we imagine that level of rejection, the mocking and jeering, the slapping and hitting, the kicking and hair pulling?
Can we hear the hammers' blows pounding the nails through His hands and feet affixing Him to the rough-hewn cross, and then uprighted, He is stripped naked — hung on a tree for all to see, cloaked only in the filthy sins of the world — our reproach
It was here Jesus of Nazareth felt God's rejection of our sin.
It was here mankind's sin, the law that judges it and the legalism of man's religion, was nailed to His cross. It was here the King of the Jews redeemed us to Himself, by Himself, for Himself and declared "telelestai," i.e., "It is finished."
Like the perfect work of Creation, His perfect work of Redemption is also a masterpiece. Christ Jesus' Resurrection is the Christians' hope and joy that, as believers, we are united and share in His eternal life.
My dear old dad used to say, "Jesus' blood cleanses our hearts, and His truth rearranges our minds."
William Van Amber Fields