At this time of year I look at the flyers and salivate at all the chocolate I see advertised there. In fact today, one of my jobs is to hit up Bulk Barn in order to find some yummy treats for Easter baskets. I love chocolate. Make no mistake about it!
Also at this time of year, during Lent, I like to watch The Passion of Christ. Not because I’m into lots of blood and gore… certainly not. (In fact, I have to close my eyes a lot…) But I want to remind myself of the incredible pain and sacrifice that Jesus went through in order to deal with the problem of sin, to bring us back into a relationship with God. There was purpose to his suffering. It cost him, literally, everything.
Oswald Chambers writes
The Cross of Christ is the revealed truth of God’s judgement on sin. Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell.
Indeed, if the powers of darkness knew what would happen if they killed Jesus, they would not have done it. It spelled their doom. “None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the lord of glory” (1Cor.2:8) In the movie The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Queen of Narnia rejoiced when she struck a deal with Aslan, guaranteeing that he would take the place of Edmund on the stone table. She believed that once Aslan was gone, she would have absolute rule over the world.
But what happened instead was truly stunning: Aslan Triumphs over Death
More from Oswald:
There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross -He made a way for every person to have fellowship with God. The Cross was not something that happened to Jesus – He came to die; the Cross was His purpose in coming…. The incarnation of Christ would have no meaning without the Cross. Beware of separating “God was manifested in the flesh…” from “He made Him… to be sin for us…”….. The purpose of the incarnation was redemption. God came in the flesh to take sin away, not to accomplish something for Himself….
The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that is cost God so much. The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.
Make no mistake: the Cross and the sacrifice that Jesus made was absolutely necessary.
We only have to look at one newspaper, or perhaps around our own neighbourhood, or as close as our own selfish hearts to see why we need the Cross.
So despite what all the advertisers tell us, let’s remember that Easter’s not about the chocolate bunnies but about the single most profound act of Love ever.