I’m sitting here in my office chair pausing until I can come up with a tighter plot to my next short story when I remember I haven’t written my April Devotional. The devotional reminds me that Easter is only days away. That brings to my remembrance the Lord’s Resurrection.
I can’t help but think of the visual aid Mel Gibson gave us when he produced The Passion of the Christ. For so many years, it never dawned on me the severity of Christ’s suffering until I had this visual aid. I read scripture the other day and I did some research and found out that the whips they beat Jesus with had metal in it. Sometimes sheep bones and glass was also embedded in these whips so that as you pulled the whip off the person’s body it would rip the flesh.
Can you imagine the loss of blood? Can you imagine the misery? His painful cries?
You can get so engrossed in Christ’s misery that you miss the main focus.
Every single thing we go through in life Christ went through it, bore it all then had the love and kindness to also leave us hope for a future . . . a spiritual future. Everlasting Life.
Just what could I mean by that?
Jesus reduced himself to a man, leaving a place of peace and rest, and came down to this pitiful place called “earth” to live with a bunch of wicked and sinful, dull-hearing individuals. But Christ went far beyond that. He lived as we lived. He withstood the abuse, trappings, and accusations of the Pharisees and Saducees, and even the people’s chants to kill him.
Imagine you and your best friend of 30 years end your relationship in a horrible fight. That’s what Christ endured when he stood before the Jews late one night listening to one allegation after another. He’s tired. Hungry. Defenseless. Alone. And he knows he did nothing wrong. His disciples, his best friends, his only friends, desert him. All the people in the region who were healed are nowhere to be found. Where did everyone go?
Ever felt that way?
I can’t help but interject and jar your memory about the many men who have been hauled off to prison, sometimes serving over 20 years in these cages, for crimes they didn’t commit. And no one believed them. Their parents’, families’, and friends’ voices can’t be heard over screaming false witnesses, neighbors, and media outlets who are chanting “He did it!” If and when these men are released, what a mountainous task it is for them to attempt to make a living, not to mention the burden of trying to integrate themselves back into society.
Back to our Lord . . .
I look at the disciples and see all too clearly how their weaknesses mimic my own. I won’t lie, I might have easily fallen asleep too if I had been in the garden. My faith would have been much too weak to drive out demons. In no way my belief would raise anyone from the dead.
Not only did Jesus reduce himself from a heavenly perfect being to become a lowly man like us and subject himself to such cruel treatment, he also had the heart and love to demonstrate what comes after. He endured all that pain just to prove to us that (1) you and I can’t go through a thing on this earth that he himself did not endure; and (2) that after the pain and suffering for his sake is over then comes the good stuff—heaven, peace, happiness.
I can’t resist the temptation to share one of my favorite sayings I came up with a few years back: “God won’t let you fall any farther than he can reach.” Of course, that’s providing that your heart is focused on God, in spite of your shortcomings.
Jesus healed so many different diseases and human infirmities that if each account were written down there wouldn’t be enough books to contain them.
And here you and I sit with all this knowledge under our belts and we still can’t believe enough or have enough faith. We toss a prayer at God like an insurance policy, or stumble through a prayer when someone we love is on their deathbed, failing miserably with our stammered words because we’ve had little practice with praying. Some men are too manly to become weak enough to yield to the King and ask for help. But isn’t that what it took for Jesus to endure his sacrifice? And is that not what you and I are called to do?
Do you not understand that Jesus left us a blueprint as to how to live our lives?
See, Jesus has become a mythical character we groan over during the holidays because we promised momma or daddy we’d go to church next year.
I pose a hard question that only you and I, and any individual with an ounce of concern about his soul, would have to answer. If Jesus Christ is who he says he is, and you believe he is, then what if he had treated you like you’re treating him?
Let me take that down a notch. What if you saw that friend you lost, that one you were friends with for over 30 years, and you decided to treat him as he did you? Or what if she treated you as you treated her?
Where does the madness end?
I don’t care what they threw at Jesus, he stood firm. And let’s not forget the human side of our Savior. Let’s not make light of it. Even he, while in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweat blood during his plea with God to remove the bitter cup from him. That was his way of asking God: “Must I do this? Is there not another way?” He didn’t want to die. He didn’t want to suffer.
But Jesus didn’t come to please himself. He came at the pleasure and will of our God. And he fulfilled his purpose. Even to the point of death!
Tell me something—what does this Easter mean to you? Is it just another holiday? Another time of year to give you a three-day weekend, buy too much candy, and eat too much food? Will you sit still and remember the sacrifice that was paid for your life?
Jesus wants us to pause and reflect on his love. He loved you and me through the agony of pain and death.
Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Don’t put Jesus off another year or show up at church or at holiday gatherings to pacify one of your relatives. Think about the gifts he gives you day after day . . .
Love and Everlasting Life.
Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Poet, Author
NOTE: To help you remember how powerful our God is, read about the many miracles Jesus Christ performed while he was with us. Let’s not forget how his power still works in our lives today. Listed below are the many miracles Jesus performed along with the scriptures associated with those miracles.
MIRACLES OF JESUS
Jesus turns water into wine. (John 2:1-11)
Healing of royal official’s son. (John 4:46-54)
Healing a demonic possessed man at Capernaum. (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:33-37)
Healing Peter’s mother-in-law. (Matthew 8:-14-15; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39)
Healing of many during the evening hours. (Matt 8:16, Mark 1:32, Luke 4:40)
Catching of large number of fish. (Luke 5:3-10)
Healing the leper. (Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-15)
Healing of a centurion’s servant. (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10)
Healing of a paralyzed man. (Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:18-26)
Healing of a withered hand. (Matthew 12:9-14, Mark 3:1-6, Luke 6:6-10)
Raising a widow’s son. (Luke 7:11-17)
Calming the storm. (Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25)
Healing the Gerasene man possessed by demons. (Matthew 8:28-32, Mark 5:1-13, Luke 8:26-33)
Healing woman with issue of blood. (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48)
Raising Jarius’ daughter. (Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25; Mark 5:22-24, 35-43; Luke 8:41-42, 49-56)
Healing two blind men. (Matthew 9:27-31)
Healing a mute man possessed by a demon. (Matthew 9:32-33)
Healing a man who was crippled for 38 years. (John 5:1-17)
The feeding of 5,000 plus women and children. (Matthew 14:16-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:5-14)
Jesus walks on the water. (Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, John 6:16-21)
Healing of many in Gennesaret. (Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 6:53-56)
Healing a girl possessed by a demon. (Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30)
Healing of a man with a speech impediment. (Mark 7:31-37)
Healing of 4,000 plus women and children. (Matthew 15:29-39, Mark 8:1-10)
Healing a blind man. (Mark 8:22-26)
Healing a man born blind. (John 9:1-41)
Healing a demon possessed boy. (Matthew 17:14-20, Mark 9:17-29, Luke 9:37-43)
Catching a fish with coin in its mouth. (Matthew 17:24-27)
Healing a blind and mute man who demon possessed. (Matthew 12:22-23, Luke 11:14)
Healing a woman with an 18-year infirmity (who probably couldn’t stand). (Luke 13:10-13)
Healing a man with dropsy. (Luke 14:1-6)
Healing of 10 lepers. (Luke 17:11-19)
Raising of Lazarus. (John 11:1-44)
Healing Bartimaeus’ blindness. (Matthew 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-43)
The curse of the fig tree. (Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14, 20-25)
Restoring a severed ear at Gethsamene. (Luke 22:45-54)
The resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15, Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20)
Catching 153 fish. (John 21:4-11)
Jesus’ ascension. (Acts 1:1-11)
Miracles of Jesus in Chronological Order, http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/miracles.htm