Easter is coming all too soon. In between ordering the ham, the music rehearsals for the Easter program, trying to remember when to change the clocks and which way you're suppose to change them (spring ahead, fall back) we forget that the big deal isn't what happened on the third day. Easter is the celebration of the proof, but Good Friday is the remembrance of when we were forgiven.
This always reminds me of the story about when Jesus returned to town in Galilee, and all people crammed themselves into a tiny house to see if the little boy they saw some years ago really is the Messiah. There were scribes and Pharisee in the front row, and the rest of the village crammed in so tight that there were people spilling out of the little house. Three brothers were bringing their lame sibling to Jesus to be cured, but couldn't get inside because of the crowd. So, they did what any sensible person would do, and cut a hole in the roof and lowered their brother in. Jesus, instead of being mad about the hole in his parents roof, saw the need. He said, “You are forgiven.” Meaning more than, “it is alright you cut a hole in the roof and barged in this way” but actually freeing him from all of the sin he carried. The Pharisees where ticked, the whole forgiveness thing was their racket – moreover, they can't catch this little miracle worker as a scam artist unless he tries to do more than forgive someone. Jesus then added something to the effect of, “You'll believe what I have just done, when you see what I'm about to do.” He then told the lame man to get up and walk. Jesus had performed a large looking miracle, and the crowd was in awe. I wonder how many there down played the larger miracle because of the glitz of the second miracle? (Mark 2)
That is what I see happen most Easters, Christians make a big deal out of the resurrection, and death being overcome; but, they often only give passing mention to the amazing miracle that happened the Friday before. Jesus gave his life for a world of sinners, Jesus purchased us from the wages of sin (death) with his own life. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, and with his death saved not just His chosen people, but all who accept Christ as their savior. In his death, also, he tore the veil between the holiest of holies and the common man. Making God accessible to all, not just the head priest. Yeah, the resurrection thing is pretty cool, but it is just the proof of the larger miracle that came before.
This reminds me of of how we tend to reward the finish line and celebrate completion of things, and don't spend a lot of time thinking about the journey we took to get there. We rave over the final product, but often forget to reflect on the hard work that goes into things. I think about all the times I've heard people complain about a feature (or missing feature) in a piece of technology or program (I'm guilty of it too) and forget the amount of effort that went into it to make it as good as it is. I think the same shortsightedness applies to our lives, we get caught up in the end results of choices, the trials in our lives or the things we wish for and forget to take stock of what we've been through, what God has delivered us from and what we've learned along the way. I plan to post tomorrow about those complaints we have, and some ideas about dealing with them.
In the mean time, are there any other times you emphasis placed on the more glamorous proof of something rather than the event?