Yesterday was Good Friday. Where I work, I can’t bring up Jesus, even at Easter. I can, however, follow a conversation started about Jesus if it is started by a kid. So I waited for an opportune time. And I waited. And I waited. And then I waited some more.
I heard conversations about the Easter Bunny, new dresses, chocolate treats, egg hunts but not one mention of Jesus, cross, church, resurrection. Not one.
While preparing to write this post, I googled Easter looking for a picture for this. Want to guess how many pictures in the first 100 to show up had anything to do with Jesus? If you said 6, you would be right. Six out of one hundred. The other 94 pictures were of bunnies, eggs, baskets, etc. Then, to make matters worse, when I was getting ready for bed, I heard a news report about a Voo-Doo Priest, but once again, nothing about a crucified Savior.
This really grieved me and I wondered how it must have grieved Jesus. I can’t begin to know.
Among the many reasons that Good Friday is good, I think, must be this: He knew.
Jesus knew the day would come when bunnies were found in the hearts of children at Easter. He knew the day would come when I and others in my situation, could not freely talk about Him with children. He knew the day would come when His death, burial and resurrection were diminished and Good Friday would come to mean the advent of egg hunts and frilly dresses and chocolate treats and baskets filled with goodies. He knew the day would come when a Voo-Doo priest could make the news on Easter weekend, but Jesus would not be mentioned. He knew.
The good news is: He did it anyway!
He still went willingly to the cross, to be crucified for us, for all of us, even those of us who push Him aside, or diminish Him, or neglect to teach children of Him, for those of us that would be so busy at Easter preparing for the celebration that the reason for the celebration would take a back seat to a fictional bunny that leaves eggs hidden.
He knew and He did it anyway!
And that is good news!
Precious Jesus, first of all, forgive me, for all the times that celebrating Easter was more about dinner and guests and baskets than it was about You. What can I say to thank You for going to the cross for me, knowing how many times, I would diminish You, how many times, I would fail to think of the sacrifice You made on my behalf? How many times have I grieved Your heart? Please forgive me. Please join us this and every Easter as we look upon Your sacrifice and celebrate Your resurrection. Humbly Yours, Amen.
picture credit: jrforesteros.com