Ever since the If Gathering last month, I’ve enjoyed following along with If Equip, a short daily Bible reading with about a 2-minute video commentary. Last week the series on Easter began, and it’s been thought provoking.
I have been a Christian for many years and would have said I know the Easter story well, but there have been some points I am seeing for the first time, or in new ways.
I was moved reading Mark 14:43-52, the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane where Judas kisses Jesus to identify him to the Roman soldiers. I thought of the depth to which Christ entered into being human in that he was a victim of betrayal. The act of betrayal can only happen in a relationship of trust and intimacy. It is one of the elements of our humanity that is uniquely painful and awful. If someone you know only slightly or not at all cruelly reveals you, then you think that person is a jerk, but you probably do not feel stabbed in the back. We wound most deeply only those with whom we are in a loving relationship. And only humans have this capacity to hurt one another to this extent. Jesus chose the walk of obedience to the Father through the path of betrayal. The crucifixion could not have happened without betrayal. This helps me to understand more deeply the cross, and what it cost. It also gives me insight into the relatively slight betrayals I have experienced.
In the next section, Mark 14:53-65, Jesus is being questioned by the High Priest and others. They are trying to get evidence against him so they can put him to death, but all the witnesses are contradicting each other. Unable to make a case against him, the High Priest turns to Jesus and challenges him to defend himself. Jesus is silent. Then, the priest asks, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” and Jesus says, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
In the face of a failing case against him, Jesus himself provides the damning evidence. He does this since his mission is not to save himself, but to save us.
My prayer is, Lord, let these true things sink into my soul so I never forget, and make my heart ring with love and joy.
Hallelujah, Happy Easter.