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The Easter people

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By Ken Begley

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people, and hallelujah is our song.”

      Pope John Paul II

 

You know the Good Lord could never make anything without two sides to it in this old world.

If there is light, then there must be darkness.  If there is up, then there must be down. If there is life, then there must be death.

When you come into this world, you come all by yourself.  When you leave, it’ll be the same way.  How very lonely that sounds.  How very lonely.

Is that all life is?

You’re born, you live, and you die?

Is there no more meaning to it?

Surely this can’t be everything?

Well, it isn’t. It never was.  

Two thousand years ago, a man walked this earth. He never traveled more than 50 miles in any direction from where he was born.

He never owned great riches.

He never held political office.

He never married.

He never had children.

He did not live to old age.

He was not revered by his own people.

He was spat on.

He was humiliated.

He was hated.

He was mocked.

He was lied about.

He was denied.

He was abandoned.

He was whipped.

He was tortured.

He was nailed to a cross.

He was crucified.

He was murdered.  

A cynic would ask, “If this was the Son of God, to what purpose did all this come about?  To what end?”

Think about it.

If Jesus Christ was not our Lord, then why was He ever remembered?  His life on earth appeared to have been a total failure at that point on the cross.  He shouldn’t have rated even a tiny footnote in the great history books of mankind.  

But that’s not the case, is it?

It’s 2,000 years later, and I don’t think there’s anyone on this planet who hasn’t heard his name spoken.  He had to be from God.  He had to be God.

But what was this all about?

For me to understand the ways of God would be the same as a worm understanding man.  Yet, here are my thoughts on the death of Jesus.

God made us in his own image.  The one thing that God had never experienced is death.  He never had experienced that separation from those we love, that we, his creation, knew.  

That is until he put his own sacrifice, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, on that sacrificial altar known as death.  It was there where he separated himself from his own son.

You see, when Jesus Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before his crucifixion, and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by,” it wasn’t out of fear.

No. Fear had nothing to do with his agony that long night. He feared no man. His agony was a different sort.

Jesus Christ knew that for the first time, in all his eternity, he would be separated from God the Father.

Can you imagine what that was like?

Many times, people know the heart wrenching pain of separation from family and friends we have known for only as long as a few decades.

But Jesus Christ and God the Father had been together for eternity.  The agony of separation from the loving face of God Almighty is something that we cannot comprehend.  

Why would God do this?  Why would he make this great sacrifice?

No one can say it better than what was written in John chapter 3, Verse 16:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

He suffered with us, and then raised his son Jesus Christ from the dead to be with him again, and end that painful separation between them.  

God so looks on death as not the end, but a doorway in which that awful hell of our separation from him is over forever.  

For we are The Easter People and hallelujah is our song. Happy Easter everybody.

 

Writer’s note: The above article is written in remembrance of Billy Roy Logsdon.  God took him home last week.  I always enjoyed Billy Roy’s smiling and laughing face. He was the happiest man I ever met who was always quick with a funny story.   I’m sure God’s enjoying his company right now.  He will be missed until we meet again.