I’m probably one of the few Christians (at least of all the ones I know) who don’t like Easter that much.
Before you turn off your computer or try to hunt me down to beat me up with your Bible, let me explain. I dislike Easter because of how we celebrate it, not because of why we celebrate it. When we celebrate Easter, we all dress up, which is alright, but it seems so formal, which is much less alright for me. The colors we use are primarily pastels, which I usually dislike. And there’s a Sunrise Service, which is beautiful, but it means I have to wake up really early in the morning to hear what is largely the exact same thing I’ll be hearing in three or four hours. I have great memories of egg hunts and dying eggs and Easter baskets as a child. I recall it all fondly. And I’m thankful Jesus went to the cross and rose from the grave. It’s something I celebrate every day without having to wake up early and wear pastel-colored dresses. So on the list of Carrie’s Favorite Holidays, Easter is sort of low.
I’ll restate part of that again in case you missed it. I really do enjoy and cherish the reason for Easter.
I mentioned in an earlier post that the great part about Jesus’s earthly existence is that no one part is significantly more important than the others. Literally nothing could have happened if He wasn’t born. We wouldn’t love Him the way we do or be filled with hope if He hadn’t lived the life He did. And without His death and resurrection, none of it would’ve mattered.
Jesus was an incredibly strong man in many ways, and one of those ways is how He lived His life knowing how it would end. Obviously it would end in death, but Jesus’s death was a torturous one. We talk about it a lot, and we should, but to some extent, it desensitizes us to it. The man was beaten more severely than we could ever imagine. Dirt and sweat poured into His wounds. Spit was in his wounds, not to mention the vinegar that probably dripped on Him when the soldiers gave it to Him to drink. A bloody mess on display for anyone and everyone to see.
And people came to see. Not just to see, but also to heckle. It wasn’t like a game of golf or something where you have to be quiet. People shouted at the innocent man that hung before them. Awful things. Obscene things. Stuff they would never say to Jesus if He were standing in good health right in front of them, especially if they understood who He was.
All of those people at the cross, and none of them were His friends (depending on which Gospel you read. John is the only Gospel that says a disciple, and exactly one disciple, was at the cross. So just for the sake of argument, let’s go with the majority here and say that none of them were there). How depressing is that? I would like to think that if I was going through all of that that at least a couple of my besties would be there with a heart overflowing with love and support, wishing desperately that it didn’t have to be so. That didn’t happen with Jesus. All of His friends ran. They were nowhere to be found. The One who called them and saved them, the One who ate with them and slept beside of them, the One who laughed with them and traveled with them was dying a gruesome death and they were off somewhere acting like none of it ever happened.
Even God turned His back on Jesus. Like a nightmare cherry on top of a horrid sundae. His Father, who was so full of love for Jesus and pleased with Him, turned around and looked the other way. They’d been with each other forever. They formed the very earth He was dying on together, and as Jesus looked up at the sky, He knew the Father wasn’t looking back at Him. It’s a pain none of us will ever know because God will never do it to any of us.
It impresses me and amazes me that Jesus said, “Okay, let’s do this,” every single day of His life knowing that’s how it would all end.
What humbles me and is really phenomenal to me is that He did all of that for us. I know I repeat myself a lot in these posts, and for my weekly/frequent readers, you may be tired of hearing this, but I’m not tired of saying it: Isn’t it crazy that Jesus died like that, went through all of that, for us?
For those of you who haven’t met me, let me just tell you, I am not worth that. And this is coming from someone who loves herself, okay? Even if you polled the entire Carrie Prevette Fan Club, I’m pretty sure the only person who would disagree with me on this is my mom. I could provide a list of my flaws, plentiful as they are, but that’s not the point. The point is that when I consider everything about myself – dazzling personality, quirks, horrible traits – I wouldn’t expect someone to endure what Jesus did for me.
To clarify, I’m not alone here. I can say with a decent amount of confidence that I am not the worst person in the world. And there are few people on this planet I would die for. To be honest, humans are kind of terrible. We just are. In my Western Moral Traditions class in college, we were asked: If you were on a sinking lifeboat with five other people and a dog, who would you throw off and who would you save? Most of us said we’d save the dog, and there’s a reason for that. That reason is that more often than not, dogs are cute, loyal, and lovable while humans sometimes make you wish you lived on an island by yourself (perhaps with the dog you saved in the lifeboat).
Even though the world says we’re not worth it, and even though we say we’re not worth it, Jesus says we are.
“Carrie, you don’t know who I am or what I’ve done.”
The beautiful thing is that I don’t have to. It legitimately makes no difference. You could be the worst person in the world, the armpit of the human race, and God loves you just as much as anyone and everyone else. Jesus shed just as much blood for you as He did the dearest saint. He loves us all equally.
This love makes a world of difference. To have someone prove to you every day that you are worth it. All of it. Every last bit of it. To have someone tell you that you’re just as amazing as the person you look up to or that person you’ve put on a pedestal. To have someone remind you that it’s going to get better because there is someone who only wants the best for you and He can and will make it happen. If it isn’t something you’ve ever experienced, you’re missing out. But it’s readily available to you. A love that huge is not bound by anything. All you have to do is realize and ask for it.
By Carrie Prevette