This is Easter week. Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, this coming Sunday will be Resurrection Sunday, and in between the two Sundays is Crucifixion Friday, or what the world calls Good Friday.
Palm Sunday, Crucifixion Friday, and Resurrection Sunday. Probably the three most important days of the whole year on the Christian calendar.
Some people think Christmas is the most important time of year for Christians, but without Easter, Christmas is meaningless.
I’m grateful for all these holidays, because Christ’s whole purpose in coming to earth in the first place was to go to the cross and die for my sins. And because He did it without sinning Himself, He was able to defeat, even cheat, death, so God resurrected Him after He’d been dead for three days.
I think God regards suffering, and the suffering of Christ in particular, as beautiful. The reason for this is that suffering builds character,
Christ, in the days when he was a man on earth, appealed to the one who could save him from death in desperate prayer and the agony of tears. His prayers were heard; he was freed from his shrinking from death but, Son though he was, he had to prove the meaning of obedience through all that he suffered. Then, when he had been proved the perfect Son, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who should obey him, being now recognised by God himself as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. ~ Hebrews 5:7-8, J.B. Phillips New Testament.
I’ve long believed that God is much more interested in the development of our character than He is in our happiness, and suffering is one big way He works to accomplish that. And the very best example of this is Christ Himself, as is demonstrated in Hebrews 5:7-8, quoted above.
All of which is to say that Christ’s suffering on the Cross was perfect, and it’s the responsibility of every Christian ~ and certainly my chiefest desire ~ to be like Him in every way. In addition, His perfect suffering on the Cross is part of what enabled God to raise Him from the dead on Sunday morning (the other part was the sinless life He had lived from the beginning, as I stated above).
And now that I’ve entrusted my life Him, I have the supreme hope of seeing Jesus face to face when I go to Heaven.
I can’t think of anything more amazing than that!!
11 It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things. 12 In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11-12, Today’s Living Bible.
And that, as they say, is that!