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Posts Tagged ‘Luke 23:34, Luke 24:34, the death of Jesus, the crucifixion, the resurrection of Jesus, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, the grace of God, Jesus’ sacrifice for us, Easter celebrations, Easter eggs, Royal’

Jo 17I wonder how you feel in this week leading up to Easter. Do you look forward to Good Friday and Easter Sunday? Or is it an extra busy time for you, with no opportunity to slow down and spend some quiet moments with God?

For me as Easter approaches, I often feel as if I need to hold my breath, knowing something momentous is about to happen—as if the world is teetering on the brink of a huge catastrophe. And along with this come several conflicting emotions. It’s a bit like when I am facing some challenging event in my life. I can feel excited, perhaps even elated, as I picture myself overcoming whatever obstacle lies ahead. But I can also experience those butterflies in my stomach and even deep misgivings and uncertainty.

Then there is that mixture of emotions I experience as I look around at the way our world approaches Easter. For those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, these days are merely religious festivals for someone else to celebrate, with the bonus of public holidays here at least for everyone. I feel sadness for them—they are missing out on so much. For some, it’s all about family fun, with perhaps a visit to the Easter Show here in Sydney, along with consuming those mounds of chocolate Easter eggs. I love that they enjoy themselves, but feel sad for them too, that they are missing the main point of Easter.

For others, including us, Easter involves taking time personally and at church services to remember Jesus’ death and resurrection—and of course spoiling our grandkids with those Easter eggs too! Yet even at those Easter services, I often find myself experiencing some further conflicting emotions. At times, I feel as if I am short-changing God. Am I once again failing to grasp the full significance of Jesus’ sacrifice and the triumph of his resurrection? Yes, it may well be beyond our comprehension—but am I taking it all too lightly?

On top of that, I can feel overwhelmed with the thought that the crucifixion is the end result of what we did to God, through our disobedience and unbelief. We turned and went our own way—yet God reached out to us and responded in love and grace. What a roller coaster of emotions this brings! Feelings of sorrow for sin are surmounted by thankfulness at the generosity of God, as I reflect on this forgiveness I could never deserve but simply need to receive in repentance and trust.

Yet none of the emotions I might experience come anywhere near the pain and horror Jesus must have experienced as he made his way to the cross. And no doubt my joy and thankfulness come nowhere near what Jesus experienced as he came to life and talked and ate with his disciples. So this Easter, I plan to enter as deeply as I can once again into Jesus’ journey on my behalf, to experience all those emotions  and allow them to draw me so much closer to our loving God. Surely it is the least I can do, in the light of such love.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

It is true! The Lord has risen … Luke 24:34

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