Easter is a great time to reflect on the past year, history and how much God has done. Speaking of history, I was thinking on my walk just how dark the past must have been.
There He was hanging on the cross, dying. The Disciples curious but all afraid that they would be next. The cross was so simple and yet the Roman’s had perfected killing to the next level. Not only could they get rid of their problem people but, incite fear and intimidation into the hearts of the masses. The cross was simple and yet no one survived. The cross was simple and yet the whole town could see even from far away that one dare not cross the Romans. The cross was so simple and yet was able to accomplish so much politically.
Someone giving you a problem? Someone revealing secrets that you don't want the masses to know? Someone who is in the way? Someone who is usurping your power and control? Crucifixion is the answer. Not only will you get rid of the problem but will strike fear into the entire town with just one act! So great was the torture, so great was the intimidation and so great was the impression that it left on all who attended that no one would even dare to oppose. You see the cross was simple but, it was also effective.
It’s often been said by medical experts that hanging on the cross isn’t what kills. Oh, it’s excruciating alright but it’s not lethal. What kills is the struggle for every breath. Eventually exhaustion takes over and breathing is just too painful and difficult. Dying on a cross is not neat nor tidy. It’s not quick nor painless. It takes hours to die but, death does come. The beating, blood loss and ridicule beforehand was just all part of the show. Christ may have been able to last a little longer if He hadn’t been beaten, scourged and ridiculed first. The Roman’s wanted to make certain that Christ died a very painful and excruciating death. The Roman’s wanted to use Christ as an example to all of His followers that they would not tolerate “Christians”. If they had to have liars testify about Christ’s words then that’s just what they would do. The ends justified the means as far as the Roman’s were concerned. They wanted Christ out of the way.
Like the Roman’s, we too sometimes want things a certain way. Like the Roman’s, we too sometimes cut corners to get what we want. The cross was simple, intimidating and deadly. Out of that simple, intimidating and deadly human invention God was able to turn it around. The cross was intended for evil and yet God was able to use it for good. The cross was intended for bondage and yet, God was able to create freedom from it. The cross was intended to intimidate and yet God used it to give boldness. The cross was intended to force death and yet God used it to give life! This Easter season, may you and your family remember what Easter is really all about. May you experience that freedom, boldness and life!
“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” - Revelation 3:20