Friday, April 02, 2010

This Easter Thing

From as far back as I can remember I've always known heavy sadness when thinking of Jesus' torture and crucifixion. How much sympathy can a six year old experience? A lot. And a fifty-three year old? Even more. Yet, I only sense a whisper of his suffering.

Those Romans knew how to exact pain and humiliation. Crosses? I still cringe when I see that instrument of torture around the necks of people as jewelry or inked into their skin. Would they sport a guillotine or hypodermic needle should Jesus have died in another century? As a child I used to imagine Jesus walking down a busy street only to see crosses displayed as beauty on the people He loves. I imagined him recoiling from the assault, the reminder. I saw him violently shudder, run away, ask why.

Today I realize many people wear crosses for remembrance. It's important not to forget that Jesus did, in fact, die in a plea for mercy from God the Father. The Father accepted the sacrifice. Three days later He breathed new life into the son of His love. In that moment of amazing grace Abraham's spiritual seed likewise triumphed over death. Good to know! Just as grave markers engraved with crosses express resurrection to come so do empty crosses here and there symbolize the same.  

In that regard, for me, the most joyful reminder of that pivotal point in history is the empty tomb. Jesus the Resurrected walked away from death to life eternal, the first human to do so. His victory leads the way for the rest of us. It is a non-disappointing hope, a promise for those who are compelled by its truth.

I don't wear crosses. I don't have them in my home. They make me weep. In their place I carry a Savior in my heart, a triumphant elder brother who could and did save my soul from darkness. In His honor and in gratitude I live my life as best I can because I believe Him.

And more importantly because I love Him. 


flask said...

your easter commentary is beautiful, so beautiful that it gives me pause.

this past february someone gave me a gift of the one thing i really, really wanted, but did not have: a cross to wear.

i wanted a simple one, small and silver, to wear here, over my heart, to remind me of the transformation of that dark, painful thing into something of immeasurable grace and beauty; to set like a star, a bright beacon, a thing i can hold onto and feel, with its harsh angles and smooth beauty.

it is no small thing; no one had ever thought to give me one and although i have not taken it off since the moment it was given me i have also yet to wear it out away from my skin, preferring instead to feel it close to my heart.

today was good friday. there was nothing for me to do but go down to the church and quietly take the brasses, the plates and candlesticks and sit silent, polishing them up again to shine on easter morning.

it is work as prayer, in tender care and with love.

ordinarily i do not make self-referential comments on other people's blogs, but i want to share with you a thing i wrote this today after morning prayer:

may every blessing fall on you and yours this day and every day.

flask said...

i'm sorry; this is an awkward way to have a conversation, but i don't wish especially to intrude other than to say that i'm eflask, and i use gmail.

i do not know if you are interested, but every so many months (usually also once in advent and Christmas, once during lent and at easter) i send out links to recordings i've made or sheet music i've written, which i make available for free to anyone who wants it.

i know, it sounds like a sleazy multilevel marketing ploy, but mostly who's on my mailing list are friends of mine, and pastors and choir directors of churches with whom i visit.

if you want to go look at it to decide if you'd like to hear music as i make it available, you can find my website pretty easily from my profile page.

right now i'm just finishing up the brasses for the church so they shine beautifully tomorrow and later on i'll put together my easter mailing, sending out two new pieces i've been saving just for the occasion.

i have a couple more hours of polishing to go, so i'd better get to it.

Cherie said...

Thanks, Flask! I shall look into the music. You must be quite talented! Hope your Easter was a true blessing of a day.

Jillian said...

Thank you for this post!

Cherie said...

You're welcome, Jillian. Thanks for letting me know you appreciate it.

Dumela said...

Yes thanks for the post.