Of course we had been learning in school the real meaning of Easter, how Christ went to the cross for us and then rose again after three days. My kids know the story, but I wonder how much they really understand it? They are still fairly young, have been fairly sheltered, and the worst sin I imagine they have done is lying.
Hmmmmm..... wait....lying is a biggy.
Wait just a minute...they have stolen too... maybe not a car or robbed a house, but stealing from each other. Stealing is big.
They have coveted... barbies, toy cars, clothes and Lego sets. Coveting is a big ol' ugly one....
Ok so they sin, maybe they understand better than I was giving them credit for.
Maybe I misunderstand, thinking somehow children are immune to ugliness, that Jesus went to the cross only for certain people.
Christ went to the cross, and died a sinners death, yes?
For which sinner? Death for the bigger sins like murder, adultery, cannibalism? Or the more mundane day to day ones? Lying, pride, gluttony? Bible says all sin leads to death. So if it all leads to the same place, with no detours, doesn't that make them all equal? That is not what most people want to believe, they want justice! The murders should die! The people that torture children should die painfully slow deaths! While we are at it throw all the dictators, prostitutes, gays, politicians and people that don't believe the same as us into the fire too!
But no, that's not how it works. All sin leads to death. All of it. We do not get to put them in any special order. Though most people like to pick and choose what they think is the worst.
Gossip. Pride. Vanity. Gluttony. Sarcasm. Judging others.
Those are all socially acceptable, applauded even. And I'm guilty of every last one of those.
But some 2,000 years or so Christ stepped up for us. He who never ever sinned not even a little. He became sin for us. For every ugly thing any person had ever done, or would ever do. He was God in person form, dont you think he had a choice not to go to the cross? He could have zapped the mobs around him all to dust, poof! But He didnt. He went willing, because there was someone he wanted to save, someone was on his mind.
He was thinking of me sitting around gossiping, stuffing my face with chips and judging my neighbors. He was thinking of my ugliness and my death I was headed to, when they were whipping his back. He let men cut his face and head with thorns. He thought about it when he hung on splintery wood, his whole body weight hanging down from spikes in his wrists, he didn't want me hanging there. Instead of thinking about the birds picking at his flesh he thought about me. He thought about you.
He said that while hanging up on the cross, when he should have been unconscious from the pain. He should have been so humiliated and angry that he changed his mind and came up with plan B, the world gets blown up instead. But instead he hung there trying to breath through the blood dripping down his throat. Finally though, his body could take no more and he died.
But the huge kicker to all of that is, He came back!
After everything this world had done to Him, he came back! Can you imagine that kind of love?
If people talked about, lied about you, mocked you, would you ever come back after you left them?
If people beat you up in front of a mob, would you come back to give them hope?
What if one of your best friends handed you over to the cops to be put to death?
Or some guys stripped you butt naked to keep your clothes, then hung out and played games while you died in front of them? Would you come back with love or a baseball bat?
If you had the chance would you want to come back to a place full of those people? I think most people would say screw that, lighting bolts for all zap zap zap!
Not what Jesus decided to do, He did all that work so he could see them again! He couldn't wait to get back! He wanted them to know, whatever the crime, whatever the ugly, He could beat it all.
Trust that He can.
Trust that He can for others.
It will change everything.