With Easter only two weeks away, all I’ve taught for the past few weeks is the Easter story – Garden of Gethsemane, Trial, Crucifxion, Resurrection. I know them backwards.
Sometimes, we can talk about these things so much, and I gues I’m really talking about the cross and the resurrection, that we become immune to them. They become so ordinary to us that we forget to see their immensity.
A few weeks ago, I had been reading a lot about Jesus’ ordinariness, or rather his humanity. He was no longer a far off, mystical divine Being but was a man, an ordinary bloke. God, yes, but also very much the son of a carpenter. At the time I was reading Mark’s Gospel and when it came to the crucifixion, even though I’d read the story hundreds, if not thousands of times, taught it, watched it, heard it, it got to me like I was reading it for the first time. It broke my heart to read all that Jesus had suffered because of me.
I remember the first (and only) time I watched the Passion of the Christ. I was an absolute wreck (you’re not surprised are you?) Seing it portrayed so vividly, knowing that the Jesus who you know and love went through that, because of you – it’s horrible.
As I’ve been explaining this to kids and young people the past couple of weeks, every group has been horrified by what Christ had to experience. Where has our horror gone? Why do our hearts not break every time we think of the cross?
I think it’s the same story with the resurrection – it’s too normal for us. But this is Jesus conquering death and sin for all time, for all people!!
I’m challenged that this easter, when I consider these things a million more times, will the Jesus I see be a distant, unknown God, or my friend, sacrificing himself for me. Will it be a disconnected Jesus or the one who walks with me day by day?