Easter Devotion (2022)
“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Hebrew 2:10
On March 29, 33 AD, Jesus of Nazareth, an influential teacher and prophet, a great but humble man, was beaten, mocked, and executed for no reason other than jealousy (Mark 15). It is perhaps the greatest injustice the world has ever known, and that humankind has ever committed. What no one realized, even those closest to Him, was that it was also the most significant event in human history.
No event, past or future, could ever be more important to mankind than the death of Jesus, and no one would know it until two days later at His resurrection when it became clear to all that Jesus was so much more than just a man.
As I’ve shared the Gospel with people over the years, many have told me that they wished they had what I have, the ability to accept on faith things that don’t make sense, that don’t fit with what we know of the physical world. I tell them that the key is understanding that God is not limited by time and space because time and space only exist because He created them. He created the laws that bind them, He controls them, and He can do whatever He wants outside them.
We cannot confine God to a human box or define Him by the laws of our physical existence. He is so much more remarkable than that, and there are things we do have to accept on faith, like that of children (Matthew 18:3, Mark 10:14). That means we must be willing to accept that there are things we will not understand until we get to the other side.
It's pointed out in scripture that Jesus felt everything that humans feel – hunger, tiredness, fear, joy. He laughed and cried. He made friends, and He was abandoned and betrayed. I have always assumed, however, that there was one human emotion He never experienced. I surmised that because He never committed a sin, He would never have felt guilt or shame.
Then, it occurred to me that when He was on the cross with all the sins of the world laid on Him, and God turned His face away, that Jesus may felt even that. I think it’s possible He could have felt shame and possibly gotten an impression of what guilt feels like.
Maybe I’m off in left field, but as we prepare to celebrate Easter, the commemoration of our Lord’s Resurrection, I am especially mindful of what He went through to secure our salvation and of the fact that despite His divinity, He is also intensely aware of what it means to be human. He understands us, not just as our Creator, in the way that an inventor understands His invention, but rather He understands humanity.
By becoming human and dying as He did, Jesus provided a way for us to have a relationship with God beyond any ever imagined by humans. Pagan gods were always cold and distant, constantly needing appeasement or bribes. But Jesus actually humbled Himself by becoming one of us, living with us, and teaching us, which makes Him uniquely qualified to intercede for us with the Father.
God desires a relationship with His people, and thanks to Jesus, we can have one. So, as we consider the sacrifice God made for us on that Friday 2,000 years ago, let’s be mindful of the great love it demonstrated. May we also remember that God has a plan that is still unfolding. We sometimes forget that the events set in motion at Jesus’ resurrection are not yet complete and that can cause us to doubt.
I have moments of doubt at times. Moments when I wonder where God is and why He hasn't yet returned to stop the madness. But when those moments come, I recall scriptures that remind me that His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-11) and that our job is to trust and not to question, to stand firm till the end (Matthew 24:13) and do our part to show people who He is and why we love Him. Because God so loved the world (John 3:16).