Happy Easter

Many of us wear the cross.  It is a popular piece of jewelry for young and old.  The cross has so many meanings.  Catholics make the sign of the cross […]

Happy Easter

Many of us wear the cross.  It is a popular piece of jewelry for young and old.  The cross has so many meanings.  Catholics make the sign of the cross at the end of prayers as a symbol of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. ..the Trinity.

Others wear the cross as a symbol of being Christian, a believer in Christ as Savior, Redeemer of the world.  And artist often wear the cross as a sign of blessed by the best…in gold..it infers “ I’ve made it and I thank God.”

In the time of Jesus, the cross was a symbol of death, death on a cross made of wood; and typically placed in locations where many could witness an excruciating death.  The death was often for heinous crimes of thievery, killing some one, betraying a brother or neighbors’ wife.

In Jesus’ case, he had done none of the acts that usually led to death on a cross!  He was betrayed by his own disciple, Judas Iscariot, who had been paid to turn him over because Pontus Pilate was jealous of the attention and devotion Jesus was being shown by new followers, of this man from Galilee.

In truth, all of the events had been described in the Book of Isaiah years before.  The fulfillment of the prophesies that preceded Jesus’ birth were being fulfilled according to the writings of Matthew. Mark and John, divinely inspired and scrolled for posterity generations, as described  before the birth of Christ.

Every denomination observes Easter differently.  Jewish families began with the Passover on Wednesday night at sundown.  It is tradition that Jewish families teach their young and reenforce through the elders the night that the first born son and the first male sheep or goat were killed and only those who had taken it’s blood and spread over the lentil of the door of the homes would be protected from the wrath of death.  With roasted sheep or goat, Jewish families tell of their journey from slavery and the passover of death, honoring the mandate to protect the home and their families  by teaching obedience and adherence to the Jewish law.

Tuesday night, Jehovah’s Witnesses held their Memorial where they honor Christ as Jesus Lord, sent by Jehovah God to free us of our sins.  In temples and via Zoom, they flocked to honor the Christ and His death on Calvary’s cross for our sins.

In Protestant churches, over the past seven weeks, various pastors have given sermons about the last Seven words spoken by Jesus.  And , various congregations have hosted luncheons and service to prepare worshippers to be informed and ready for the solemnity of the Cross Jesus had to bear.

Holy Week for Catholics begins tonight with the Maundy Thursday, The Lord’s Supper.  Jesus told his disciples to go to the house and ask if the Master can eat with His disciples in the Upper Room.  The feast was prepared as it had been written and Jesus forewarned He would be gone soon.  At the meal, He said “ This is my body, given up for you.  Do this in remembrance of me. He followed with the chalice and said  “ this is my blood, given up for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”.

This was preceded by the washing of the feet of the disciples. He, with towel around his waist washed their feet, cleaning them from sin and instructing them to do the same to their neighbors….the epitome of love.  “Love they neighbor as you love thyself.”

As we continue with the Passion of the Lord, the taunting of non-believers who told Him to come down from the cross, may we be encouraged.  He, who had performed so many miracles, did not come down from the cross.  He bowed His head, after gall and excruciating pain and died.  As it was written, so it must be.  He is the redeemed and gives us peace and forgiveness.  The world turned dark, out of guilt, out of sin!

Jesus, the giver of Life and Life everlasting had to suffer death.  Death on a cross, the emblem of suffering and shame.  Then true to Scripture and the divine writings of Matthew, Mark and John, He arose.   As the two Mary’s went back to the tomb to grieve over the death of our Lord, the stone was moved and there where they had dressed the Lord’s body with Frankincense, and Myrrh burial perfumes, they found the Shroud of Turin, the face of Jesus  and  the body was gone.   Resurrection …RESURRECTION SUNDAY…THAT IS easter!

He arose!  He was no longer there.  Unlike other who died on the cross, HE LIVES! The CROSS that had symbolized shame was now the sanctity of ETERNAL LIFE AND ETERNAL SALVATION.  To know Him is to love him and celebrate the joy of forgiveness for ever more!

Happy Easter to you and yours!  And as we bear our human crosses, day after day, may we find hope, joy and sanctification in the Resurrected Lord. He is NOT  in the tomb. He is near!    -0-