Preparing our Hearts for Easter

Detail of Christ weeping.  The painting originated as a painterly sketch rendered during an Easter worship service.

Detail of Christ weeping. The painting originated as a painterly sketch rendered during an Easter worship service.

Living and active – two words that describe the book of books – the Bible.  Have you had the experience of reading a familiar passage and then read it again and have the words leap out at you as though you have never read them?  It happens repeatedly as the Holy Spirit works in the believer’s heart.

Through many years part of my preparation for Easter has been thoughtfully and prayerfully considering what kind of painting to render during the worship service through my church.  As many times as I have read through the gospel accounts of the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, I hadn’t quite read them as I did today.

In Mark 15 the soldiers mock Jesus:  “Then they saluted Him and taunted, “Hail!  King of the Jews!”  And they struck Him on the head with a reed stick, spit on Him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship.  When they were finally tired of mocking Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him again.  Then they led Him away to be crucified.”  (Mark 15:18-20 NLT)

Sometimes our lives have very rough passages.  There are days we may feel dishonored, put down, insulted and unappreciated.  Tragically, there are people,among us that have been abused and mistreated by fellow human beings.  But nothing, nothing compares to the treatment the Son of God experienced as He reached out in pure love to a hostile world.  Jesus, above all, knows by intimate experience what it feels like to be utterly disregarded.  While each of us as human beings do things that are wrong, He never did.  It is Christ’s innocence, His purity, the magnitude of His selfless love shown even to those who hated Him that make His mockery and torture unfathomable.

The juxtaposition of what Christ endured,measured up against our own struggles, make our personal experiences pale into obscurity.  Truly we have a great friend in Jesus who can relate to any heart ache, any struggle, all forms of physical and emotional pain because He lived through it when He walked on earth.

As the dear old Christian hymn reminds us:

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

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