It is Holy Week.
Sunday was Palm Sunday. You know the story – Jesus enters Jerusalem and for the first time is recognized by the people as the Savior. The people wave palm branches in rowdy exaltation. They lay the branches on the ground along with their cloaks to make a soft path for Jesus to ride the donkey along. “Hosanna!” they cry, which means “Save!” They praise Him and celebrate Him and acknowledge Him for who He truly is.
Just a few short days later, the cries change to something entirely different. “Crucify Him!” You probably know that story, too.
How fickle we humans are.
They succeed in murdering Him, you know. They are allowed to carry out their terrible plot. The Christ is brutally beaten before He is hung on a cross, as if crucifixion isn’t painful enough on its own. He was fulfilling His purpose – taking on death, the punishment for your sins, and mine.
But that is not the end of the story. Some end it there. Some wallow in the self-loathing that comes when we see how unworthy we are of such a sacrifice. Some leave Jesus on the cross, believing that shows great honor and respect to His death. And it does, in a way, but that is not the end! He is no longer there! The cross is empty, the stone is rolled away, and the tomb is vacant!
You see, Jesus won. He suffered the punishment for my sins, the perfect sacrifice, and then went on to rise from the grave! He is alive!
Next Sunday is Easter Sunday. Soberly ponder the things that must have gone through Jesus mind between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, especially today, the day before His crucifixion. But don’t forget that tomorrow is Good Friday. Don’t forget that Jesus fulfilled His purpose and set you free. Let the reality impact you, but don’t let it depress you. Live in the freedom He purchased with His own blood.
Don’t keep Jesus on the cross.