As important and pivotal as these days are in the redemption picture there is the period in between these days that we often glance over. Understandably we wish to move on to more comforting news than the crucifixion of Christ and we wait for the glorious news of Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Christ. But the time between Christ’s death and his resurrection is not to be forgotten and contemplated.
I believe it represents the greatest suffering that Christ experienced. Not to in any way diminish the physical suffering and rejection that Christ endured, but imagine Christ being separated from the Father. Christ cries out not because of physical pain and abuse but by the abandonment of his Father....”my God my Good why have you forsaken me”? (Mark 15:34)
Add to this the sin of mankind, yours and mine, being placed on Christ to be taken care of forever. I believe that this is the suffering of Christ that Paul often refers to in his Epistles. The time between the celebrated days affords much thought and contemplation, for our faith to be rooted, broadened and strengthened.
If you participated in the pre-Easter Scripture reading schedule then you, as I, saw the Christ Event in 3D. Four writers viewing the same events from different angles brought amazing detail and clarity to the Gospel narratives. So then also in the Easter account we get an amplified picture of each character. So much could be said about each one but the one that particularly caught my attention is likely the one who has the lowest profile, Barabas, the one who has no role but is the recipient of immeasurable grace. Such an amazing picture of the grace that each one of us receives at the cross, it is free, abundant and complete; unexpected freedom. Perhaps this freedom enlightened him.
But wait, the Easter event is incomplete without Christ returning to the Father, the ascension, the victorious and completed work of Christ. Could He not have ascended right after the resurrection? Yes, but how thoughtful of the Father to give those present at the time and us, this space before Christ was seated at His right hand. Can you imagine what it meant for Mary, the mother of Jesus, to see Him? Can you picture Peter’s predicament having denied Him? Thomas’s unbelief? The encouragement for the rest of the apostles? And for us to read the historical account? The list goes on.
The Easter Event is truly a humbling, grace-filled and rejoiceful time. It is rewarding to contemplate how wonderfully and miraculously we enter and fit into it.