April 17th: A Day of Reflection

Silent Wednesday 

The Bible doesn’t say what the Lord did on the Wednesday of Passion Week. Scholars speculate that after two exhausting days in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of Passover. 

So lets us reflect on this today…

Remember when you were a child, you waited all year for that one special holiday? It seemed like it would never ever get here….you’d go to bed early anticipating in a few hours what was to come in….AH! A living room full of gifts…

As a culture we spend a lot of time, money , and energy preparing for Christmas. There’s parties, presents, and twinkling lights, trying to outdo our neighbors with who has the most elaborate decorations in their yard. While I am thankful for the incarnation, for the warm cuddly images of Baby Jesus, lying in the manger- but without the cross, Christmas would mean nothing , the nativity manger would be a long forgotten story about a young Hebrew girl who gave birth in a barn. And yet it’s Christmas that gets all out attention. If you were to take a peak inside my garage too, I am guilty of the overindulgence by the number of plastic bins filled with Hobby Lobby decorations stacked one on another. Easter seems to sneak up on us, as we are recovering from Christmas’ excess.

Easter is not about a birth, but a death, which begs the question, When was the last time any of us wanted to gaze on a bloody, mangled body? Even the thought is too much. Instinctively our stomachs churn, our voices moan at even the idea of such a sight. As many of us sat in theaters watching The Passion of Christ…. the crown of thorns on His head, the piercing in His side, the whipping, the scourging, the nails in His hands and feet. We turned away. It was just too much too absorb.

But the manger…..the newborn babe… we smile, we Oooohh, we Ahhhhh at the cuddly baby Jesus. We can’t stop looking into that beautiful face with snuggly, sweet cheeks. Hope wrapped in a downy soft baby blanket.

A big difference from the cradle to the grave. And yet, this is the conundrum of our Christian faith-that Jesus, the son of God, was born to die. The innocence of His birth stayed with Him to His last breath on the cross. There He hung-naked, tortured, and there He died. And WILLINGLY He endured all of this for us because of His infinite love.

Even though we may understand Easter, it’s still Christmas that we eagerly anticipate and prefer.
The story of Mary, the teenage virgin who bravely birthed a tiny baby king is a much happier one. The sweetness of the Christmas babe being lullabied by an angelic choir is easier to embrace.

The necessity of a blood sacrifice just isn’t what we talk about in our daily conversation.
Most, give Easter little thought, time or preparation. We take a minimalist approach to celebrating the greatest event of history.
this is by no means to put a guilt trip on anyone for enjoying bright beautiful easter baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, plastic eggs, all your favorite treats, and my favorite of all…PEEPS! (Who doesn’t love peeps?)

Jesus never asked us to commemorate His birth, but He did command us to remember His death (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

I want to encourage you, let’s make Easter a season, like Christmas by preparing earlier, teaching our family, about Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. And-don’t stop celebrating the Resurrection after Easter Sunday! Most of us leave our Christmas lights up through the New Year…or even til Valentines Day (yes that’s me)

So why not continue the joy of this life-changing event…Christ is RISEN!!

*written by Kathy Cochran

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