By Joan Clayton
Since my childhood, I have always heard that we “have an Easter spell,” meaning bad weather before or around Easter time. I like to think of this time as being nature’s way of complaining about Jesus’ crucifixion. Have you ever thought of the excruciating pain rejection and sorrow that Jesus endured for mankind?
I have read medical reports of the exact processes the body goes through in death by crucifixion. It is more than I can bear. Yet, Jesus came. His coming was prophesied centuries before his birth.
Micah 5:2: “O Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are but a small Judean village, yet you will be the birthplace of my King who is alive from everlasting ages past!” (TLB)
Psalm 22:16-18: “Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” (NIV)
Isaiah 53:6: “We have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way. But the Lord has put on him the punishment for all the evil we have done.” (NCV)
Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (NIV)
In those dark three hours on the cross, God took the sinless Jesus and put our sins upon him. Imagine, if you can, every sin of mankind being poured onto Jesus. Every lie, anger, hatred, jealousy, sickness, selfishness, pride and any other bad thing was thrust upon him. How his soul must have recoiled and convulsed at this outpouring of mankind’s ills.
In the darkness, Jesus bore it all. The sacrificial lamb, suffered in silence. In that horrendous time of suffering, Jesus had to bear the painful agony of being alone. The physical suffering was not the only trauma. At that unbearable time, Jesus knew the pain and agony of being separated from God.
Yet he still paid the price. He carried the sins of the world on his shoulders. Can you fathom so great a love? He paid the penalty for sin, once and for all, being crucified for you and me. Death could not stop him.
The tomb is empty. The stone has been rolled away bringing blessed hope to the human heart. Easter reveals the glorious truth of the Resurrection proving once again that love is stronger than death. That incredible love is for you and me.
Jesus is the “way, the truth and the life.” Who would give their life for an enemy? Jesus did. Who would give their life for sinners? Jesus did. He willingly died for you and me. We cannot save ourselves. Sin is a terminal disease, but Jesus is the cure. When a repentant soul receives Jesus, then “Forgiven” is written against the account of sin. It reads, “Paid in full.”
I had a dream, a frightful sight.
It was so dark, as black as night.
Upon a cross, there was a form.
It was hard to see in such a storm.
Writhing in pain, jeers from the crowd.
Roman soldiers, looking proud.
I looked again and I gasped in tears.
It was I on the cross for the sins of my years.
Then Jesus came and took my place.
All was forgiven and my sins erased.
I awoke to proclaim the wondrous praise
Of that dear one, such boundless grace.
He chose the cross, such agony.
He paid the price for you and me!
What a glorious thing. What an awesome God. What a beautiful Savior.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and religion columnist living in Portales.