The Rest of the Story
I have seen many crosses this week–on church lawns, in sanctuaries, inside display cases, even on the corner of a car dealer’s lot. I join other Christians in commemorating Good Friday and remembering Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion, but I don’t want to get stuck there.
I don’t want to become near-sighted, focusing only on the pain of the cross and forgetting the joy and glory of the Resurrection. This story has a glory-filled conclusion.
I have been challenged by a recent Christianity Today article.
Don’t focus on the suffering of Jesus to the extent that you neglect the glory of the Cross in and through the Resurrection.
The authors (Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor) remind us of Jesus’ journey from God and His return to the heavenly Abba.
Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
John 13:1,3 NIV
Jesus’ return to the heavenly Father was a return to glory!
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. John 17:5 NIV
I can’t comprehend that. The closest parallel I can imagine is leaving my home and family on a trip and coming back years later, but that’s a dim candle compared to the bright splendor of heaven.
This familiar verse in Hebrews
For the joy set before him he endured the cross Hebrews 12:2 NIV
reminds me of something I can understand: the process of giving birth.
“Remember to breathe.”
“Congratulations! It’s a boy–9 pounds and 13 ounces!”
Why do we endure the pain of childbirth? For the delight we feel cradling our newborn,
for the joy set before us.
My prayer for us all this Easter season:
may we remember Jesus death and suffering for our sins
AND the glory and joy of Jesus’ resurrection.
I’m ready to celebrate!
He is risen.
He is risen indeed.
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Thanks to Barb Briggs and Rachel Joy Nieuwsma for allowing me to use their photos.
linking with Jennifer Lee Dukes
linking with Emily Wierenga
linking with Laura Boggess