With Easter, I think we forget the magnitude of the cross.
It’s very easily the most important holiday we observe as Christians, because after all, it is the celebration of Christ’s victory over death and sin. We say “thanks” and give a “woohoo!,” cut up a ham and move on with our day…but I think we forget some aspects of what happened.
God, as we of course know, is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. He’s love. He’s grace. He’s truth. He is long-suffering. And what we take away from that a lot of times is that God is this feel good guy. I mean, he’s a loving father, perfect in the gifts he wants to give us. Gee, thanks God! You’re the best!
But on Easter, I take a second to think through some things. I think about how he got to be in such a good mood. Because he shouldn’t be, right? I mean, there’s a LOT of darkness in the world. There’s sin. People are being trafficked. People are being killed. People right now are being scammed/cheated/abused/abandoned. There’s seemingly no end to the injustice of the world. And, surprise surprise, it’s been that way since creation.
And God sees all of it: Every murder, every swindle, every client who visits a victim of trafficking. Statistics can list off how much of every abuse is visited on others every few minutes. From ancient Babylon to the modern brothels of Thailand, God has been right there, watching it, seething at sin. God has experienced every explicit detail of sin, every second of every day, remembering every tear with his infinite memory. Every sin. Every time. Remembered. By all accounts, he shouldn’t be in the best mood.
But Jesus on the Cross happened—praise be to Christ.
Romans 5:6-8 says, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
You see, Jesus’s physical ordeal on the cross was only the beginning. The Roman’s method for torture and execution was substantial—perfected over decades of practice—but it paled in comparison to the jet engine of wrath to the face that Christ endured as God poured out the entirety of his wrath concerning sin.
Let that sink in. For the allotted time, Christ became sin. God raged against Christ on the cross. For the allotted time, he forsook his son and utterly cut him off from the Trinity. As God raged, he avenged every rape, every murder, every case of envy, adultery, the times we lied to our parents or took advantage of someone we knew…all the anger of sin was exhausted during the ordeal of the cross. Calvary was much more than just a nail through the flesh and some thorns pushed through a brow. It was the most unimaginable period of spiritual anguish—so severe that Christ himself wished a way out while in Gethsemane.
But he didn’t shy away. He went through it. He endured the physical torture. He endured the ridicule as creation laughed at him. He cried out to God when he was forsaken. He died from the ordeal.
And he rose again.
That’s Easter, friends.