10 April 2009
A Hope and a Revolution
I can't believe that it is going to be Easter on Sunday. I haven't really celebrated Easter as much as the common Christian does... Because I know it's was built on top of a pagan holiday, but so was Christmas, so go figure. Anyways!
But Easter does hold a lot of meaning for me. I like being home, and being with family, and coloring Easter eggs and writing all the names of the characters in the story I am writing all over the Easter eggs, and the way my family thinks I'm crazy for doing so, and hiding Easter eggs for my two little sisters to find, and eating this amazing egg concoction called "Goldenrod" that my dad makes every Easter for supper, and going to the Easter Sabbath program the day before Easter, and hearing about all the hype and seeing what is in my Easter basket... all that yummy candy and an occasional gift (this year, I think my mom sent me two! I won't get the package till Monday, though).
Anyway, all of these Easter traditions my family has reminds me of home tonight, and I just wish that I could be there. Whose bright idea was it to make spring break to be a month before Easter in college? Yeah, they needed a brain transplant, that's for sure.
By this time today, about two thousand years ago, if this was the actual weekend that Jesus was crucified, Jesus would have already faced all the torture. Last night, He would have been publicly humiliated before Caiaphas and Annas, and tried unfairly, and eventually spit upon and flogged and punched. By now, the crown of thorns has been pressed so deeply into the soft flesh around His temples that He bled. And bled. And bled. And He has already walked up that long walk from the Via Doloroso to the Place of the Skull, and He had seen how they had forced Simon to bear His burden. And then, He stumbled to the ground when one of the Roman soldiers shoved Him there, and He bit His lip so hard that blood came out when they pounded the nails into the soft flesh just below His wrists to keep from crying out. And when they nailed His feet to the cross, silent tears trailed down His grimy face, and He glanced over to see His momma, at the front of the crowd, shaking and sobbing, not understanding. He didn't understand! And when they lifted the cross from the ground! It jolted His body with more excruciating pain than He had ever experienced, and when they dropped His tree into the ground, the nails ripped bigger holes in His feet and his hands, and His head bounced off of the wood. The thorns pressed deeper into the back of his head, and fresh blood oozed out of his head. He waited for hours--He waited for hours to DIE. At one point, He saw the pain and loneliness in His momma's eyes, and the fear in John's eyes. And He gave His mother to John. More waiting. More pain. And on top of it all, all Jesus experienced was that He was dying. And His Father had rejected Him. I'll never see Him again, He must have thought. And then, He cried out, "It is finished!" And it was finished. And God died.
Can you imagine? Why do we downplay the raw emotion in this story? To these people--John, Peter, Mary, Judas, Jesus--this wasn't a BEGINNING. It was the bitter END! And it was bitter and painful and cruel and heartless, and we go and pain Easter eggs and wave to the Easter bunnies all over the malls and by the side of the road and we watch passion plays, and yet, the last time I cried about when they killed Jesus was when I was an innocent six-year-old. Jesus, why do we make little of You? World, why do we let everything get in the way of seeing how beautiful and loving and present Jesus is? World, why are we content with the Easter Bunny when we can have JESUS?
The Christian church says that Easter is about hope, and it is. And I don't want to downplay that. But Easter is also about a revolution that began. And I'm afraid half of us have lost the fervor for that revolution.
Jesus, help me to have the hope and the revolution. Amen.
Until next time,