Religion column: Easter proves love stronger than death

The tomb is empty. The stone's been rolled away bringing endless hope to the human heart. We have been redeemed. Let the world rejoice. He is risen! It is the greatest moment in the annals of time.

Easter symbolizes victory. Jesus is our champion. The one who endured the cross still reaches out to hurting mankind.

Jesus makes his home in hearts filling them with wondrous abiding love and mercy. He is the daystar causing the shadows of darkness to flee.

The anxious heart runs rampant until "The Prince of Peace" reigns, bringing quietness to the grateful soul. Trusting in Jesus assures the believer will never be alone, even in the darkest night.

The road to the cross was paved with excruciating pain. It was also paved with love and sacrifice. God's wonderful plan to save man had to be the sinless Christ for man's sacrifice. God sent his son to Earth in human form to redeem his creation. Jesus knew his mission. He was the sacrificial lamb.

Can you imagine the pain, the shame, the rejection? Can you just imagine how it felt to be totally alone at the moment of crucifixion?

Depths of Jesus' love were shown on an old wooden cross on a lonely hill called Golgotha. Can you hear the pounding of the nails into his wrists and feet? Can you see the anguish of Jesus gasping for breath as he tries to breathe? Can you see his blood trickling down … that precious blood that was shed? Can you hear the shouts from the soldiers, the mockery and the snapping stings with leather cutting sharp metal tongs on his back? Can you even begin to grasp the endless love required for such a task? Can you see the love in Jesus' eyes … love so deep it was worth dying for? Whatever hardship we encounter in life does not compare to the suffering of Jesus. Yet Jesus willingly died for you and me.

I read a story of identical twin brothers. One wicked and the other godly. The jail held the wicked one for robbery and multiple murders.

For this he was sentenced to die.

The one who sentenced him was his own brother who had come to be the judge. The execution was to be the next morning. During the night the godly brother exchanged places with his guilty brother. The next morning the guilty brother began to feel shame and remorse and raced to the gallows to stop the execution. "Too late," came his conscience-stricken cry. The good brother had died in his brother's place. The guilty one was free.

What a picture for you and me. Jesus paid the price. That price leads to forgiveness and eternal life. That price leads from a place of condemnation to a place in his kingdom. It's such good news. He set us free.

The greatest pain in life must now surrender in view of the greatest love displayed on the cross. On that lonely barren hillside redemption saved mankind from eternal destruction.

Jesus gave up the glorious majestic splendor of heaven by laying down his life. Now in the midst of loneliness faith stretches to the heights of heaven and receives a wonderful peace. Easter reveals the glorious truth of the resurrection, proving once again that love is stronger than death.

Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her e-mail address is:

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