I’ve realised this week the importance of preparing our hearts for Easter Sunday. It’s the highlight of the Christian calender (Jesus death and resurrection) and so I would like to encourage you to spend some time over this weekend to do something practical so that you stay focused on the true meaning of Easter. For example: reading a section of one of the gospels, talk to God and ask him to reveal something new to you again about the Easter story or get together with your friends to discuss what it means for you today.What God has really revealed to me this week is the bloody reality of the cross in contrast to this neat, tame affair we can often make it into in our minds. In the Bible it says:
And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. (John 19:2-3)
He was beaten, spat upon and mocked so that we may no longer be slaves to sin and this world but instead be given sonship into the family of God! Isn’t this outrageously beautiful!? -That despite we turned our backs on God and thought we knew better, he died for us, the very people who mocked him and nailed him to the cross.
In the Bible thorns represent a curse (for example in the garden of Eden after Adam and Eve disobey God and they are forced to leave the garden, God says to them “Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18″Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field;”) This crown of thorns on Jesus’ head is symbolic of the fact that Jesus wore the curse of mankind as he bore our sin as the perfect sacrifice so that as said later in John 19 we know that “It is finished” and we now have right standing with God!
To check that Jesus was dead, “one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water” which confirmed that he was dead but also represented the atonement of humankind through the blood and purification of us through the water. If you believe in Jesus, his death is sufficient. No matter how often you read or don’t read your bible, no matter how many times you make mistakes, feel like giving up or feel ashamed of your past, Jesus died FOR YOU to take away your sin once and for so that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1. Halleluiah!
Rest in this reality today: you are made blameless by Jesus death and Resurrection. How are you going to live your life differently today because of it?