Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Easter 2011

So this Easter I did all the things I normally do on Easter Sunday, get up early to attend for the life of me what I can figure is Sunrise Service at our church, but for the most part at 7 in the morning, I am not generally awake then.

This year the pastor handed me 3 nails as I sat down. Okay, that’s weird, I thought. Oh yeah, right- it’s Easter- the reason I had to get out of bed early this morning and come to church before 7am, why anybody should be awake at 7am is beyond me.

He invited us, during a special song sung by a church member to come put our nails in the bucket. I placed my nail in the bucket, and had my 3 year old place one in the bucket as well. He is not without sin, as I was able to witness later in the nursery of him getting so mad at another little boy that he was angry- so visibly angry that after he hit that poor little boy over and over again, and was told to stop by the adults, his head was vibrating back and forth in an anger motion. The only other person who I’ve seen do this, or know that this motion is done is myself. Yup, he has my temper.

The pastor later told us that it was interesting to watch us place our nails in the bucket; because as a whole handful of people came forward one by one, we placed our nails in the bucket- not dropped them as he was hoping to hear the metal cling on the metal. I guess for most of us, we’ve been raised in the church so well that we know better to make a lot of racket in the sanctuary, because it is just that: a sanctuary, sacred.

As the choir sung their songs of the story of Jesus and how he came to be crucified and rose in three days, I thought of the one nail that the pastor encouraged us to take home with us- to dwell on. Was the cross heavy? Without a doubt, and I thought of all my sins, and then I think of all the people who have been murders, rapists, robbers, but who have found Jesus- all their sins were on that cross too.

The night before I happened to be out at my mother-in-laws house, and on the History Channel was a show called The Face of Jesus. I don’t normally watch the History Channel, as we don’t really have traditional television in our house. But this kept my interest… and for two hours the show went on to talk about the shroud (or cloth) that Jesus was wrapped in and with the technology that we have today they can make and they have made a 3-dimensional model of what Jesus looked like 2,000 years ago. One of the things that they said in the show was that there was a lot of blood on the shroud - the man who was wrapped in this fabric was beaten almost to the point of death- and then the crucified him and put him on the cross. It was not a pretty picture, and yet, we see drawings and paintings of our Lord and Savior with very little blood on him, very little flesh tears, and just three holes in his body. In fact, he had much, much more. It was much worse than we could ever imagine.

If you’ve never seen the movie The Passion of the Christ, I would recommend it, if you are a believer. You will see the things that Jesus did, the things that we- as humans did to Him.

As I looked at my nail, long, round, and sharp during service this morning, I thought two things the first one I thought- “How much bigger was Jesus’ nails?” and my second thought was “How much noise must have come from Jesus when these nails went through his flesh, and all the way through his body?” I can’t even fathom the pain level; it would be off the chart. The nail that I had was machine made, manufactured in a plant somewhere in America, maybe. But Jesus’ nails where hand made, forged by a blacksmith in a way that we would call primitive in today’s terms. They were probably very long, and very large.

So this Easter, as I partook in our Church’s communion service, I took my time. I was seated in the back, so I was one of the last to receive my bread and cup- but I took my time, everyone had taken of the cup and taken the bread when they got them. But I took my time, waited until I got my bread in order to start drinking my cup. I actually dipped my bread in my cup- some people believe that this is what Jesus would have done. Saying “This is the bread, and this is my body, for which I give unto you.” And “This is my cup, which represents my body.”

What a sacrificial love that Jesus has for each of us. So, will you partake, did you partake? If so, I hope that you took the time to remember in our fast-paced World we sometimes forget why Jesus died on the cross.

I know in these next few weeks I will forget my nail- and every Sunday morning I will pull it out, ponder it and put it back in my bag. The cross was heavy- very heavy. Do you know how heavy it was? Jesus still didn’t care- He would have carried the cross if it was twice as heavy as it was. It was so heavy in fact, that he couldn’t carry it all the way up the hill- someone had to carry the cross for him. 


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