For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous,
to bring you to God.
1 Peter 3:18
It's surely one of the most enduring images of Eastertime – the triumphal entry of the Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. But not riding in some majestic chariot, or even on a magnificent warhorse... but on a donkey. The King of the universe - on a DONKEY! Of course was this not the perfect demonstration of servant-hearted humility?
But as the crowd acknowledged Him as King of the Jews I wonder what was going through His mind. How did the interface between His humanity and His deity play out? After all, here was perfect man... yet perfect God.
From ADORATION to AGONY
The acclaim of the people would surely have been sweet to His ears... but oh how bittersweet it must have been as He anticipated what was to follow...
- the crushing disappointment as He was deserted by those closest to Him.
- the brutality of the soldiers as they abused Him.
- the agony of those spikes being driven though His hands – the very hands
through which so many had been healed and comforted.
- and of course the greatest agony of all as He, the sinless Son of God, willingly
took the sin of the world upon Himself... as even His Father turned away
from Him whilst He hung on that Cross of Calvary.
From REJECTION to RESCUE
Yet this was God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.
He had been betrayed, despised and rejected. Yet in being raised to life again that first Easter Day He conquered death for all who would, in repentance and faith receive Him as Lord and Saviour. Yes, what appeared to have resulted in abject failure and defeat was really the greatest victory of all time.
Yes, all this dreadful suffering was what it cost for the likes of you and me to be put right with God the Father. No it wasn't the nails that held Him to that Cross, it was pure, self-sacrificing love. A love that will not let us go.
But what do we make of it all today?
Well for me, and to my shame, it's all too easy to become complacent. All too frighteningly easy for me to lose my attitude of gratitude. Yet, as we consider the events of that first Easter weekend how can we ever doubt His wonderful, everlasting love for us.
Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.