he is risen.
who knew BC was christian? i loved finding this cartoon a couple years ago. when i REALLY think about easter - like really, not just kind of, but REALLY - i feel the same as BC. i feel so blessed to have taken hold of this.
so i've been trying to carve out some time to really meditate on easter these past few days. so between yesterday (friday) and today (saturday), i read through the crucifixion stories in all the gospels, and tried to see what stuck out to me. i'm holding out on reading the "final chapter" until tomorrow morning, but i wanted to share with you what has stuck out for me - two bits:
first, is in Luke. and it's when one of the criminals being crucified to jesus shares with jesus: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." and jesus replies to him: "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." this exchange FLOORS me. reading it this time and letting it soak in, i can feel myself up on that cross next to jesus - owning my own shortcomings and failures - and asking jesus to love me anyway. and of course jesus loves me anyway - he wants me there in paradise with him. wow. the peace that that communicates to me is indescribable.
second, is in matthew when peter is in gethsemane with jesus on the night of his betrayal and falls asleep after jesus asks peter to stay up with him. i definitely would have fallen asleep too for sure. but it's what jesus comes and says to peter - "watch and pray so you will not fall into temptation. the spirit is willing, but the body is weak." that was powerful to me today. i often don't feel like i have any control over my mind and body, and scripture talks a lot about how our bodies are weak and we need to make sure our spirits persevere. and that gives me a little bit of comfort - not an excuse - to know that my body and mind will often let me down (or even do battle against what i know deep down i desire). but it's my spirit - my christian spirit - that needs to be strong. but then i know that my lack of discipline doesn't really help keep my spirit strong. and THAT is when humility breaks in and i know that it's jesus that i need. while atheists often call this aspect of religion "weakness" - we know better. this is what a lot of people refer to as the "foolishness of the cross". but really, this is called wisdom - to take hold of eternal life - the gift that jesus offers to us join him in paradise.
praise the lord - he is risen! he is risen indeed.