Thursday, April 1, 2010

Black Thursday

If Sunday is the day Jesus rose, then today, Thursday, is the day he died. Many people will be celebrating his death tomorrow. I’m really not sure why that’s the case. Maybe it’s because it comes right before the weekend and it’s easier to get people to attend weekday church services if they don’t have to go to work or school the next day. I don’t suppose it really matters when people celebrate it. I usually don’t celebrate it at all. I never knew that Easter was such a big deal until I moved to Texas. For us, Easter was usually a few colored eggs and a sermon about Jesus dying and rising again. There was one year that we blew the yokes out of the eggs instead of hard boiling them. That was fun. But I digress.

Whether you celebrate it or not, what Jesus did on that Thursday so many centuries ago is important. Whether you celebrate it on the right day or not, you can be sure that Jesus died on the right day. It isn’t a coincidence that Jesus died at the time of Passover. When the Lord instituted Passover prior to the Children of Israel fleeing Egypt, he painted a picture that pointed to the sacrifice that Jesus would make. Jesus is our Passover lamb. As the blood of the Passover lambs was the sign that told the angel of death that he was not to take the firstborn of that house, the blood of Jesus is protects us.

Much is made of Christ’s suffering. That is important, because it helps us to see how much he was willing to endure for us. I suppose if he had died and easy death and rose from the dead, we might wonder how that compares to what we deserve. It’s important that we see him agonizing in the garden over whether to go on or not. Jesus Christ didn’t just face death; he faced the death of the very worst sinner. Because of that, we can see that the death we face is no harder. But the manner of his death is not as important as the fact that his death was a sacrifice. The law that God gave Moses laid out how the blood of sheep and goats could cover the sins of the people for a period of time. We look at the Passover lamb, how it was taken in to the family, became part of the family for a time and when it was slaughtered it’s blood covered the family. Jesus came to earth and took on the form of man. He walked among us and was part of us. When he died, he died as a member of the human family and his blood covers us, if we put our trust in him.

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