Nailing Easter – Warning: “Confronting Message”
Do you know what really scares me about Easter?
It’s that we’ve sanitised it. Cleaned it up. Turned it into a nice little religious celebration … and in doing so, I wonder whether we’re not completely missing the point.
I struggled as to whether I should use this confronting image on this blog post to depict what happened on ‘Good Friday’. I struggled with it because I thought I might offend someone. I struggled with it because I thought it might be hard for you to look at.
But then … Easter is offensive. Easter is difficult to look at. That’s what it is.
We use terms like “the blood of Christ”, “the Cross of Christ”, “the Crucifixion” all the time, we Christians. They just roll right off the tongue. But do we really know what we’re saying?
Just look at that terrible image for a moment. That’s the brutality of the Cross. That’s what God always had planned for His Son. That’s how seriously this God who loves us beyond all measure, takes the problem of sin in our lives.
We on the other hand rationalise our sin. We love to sweep it under the carpet. We love to tell ourselves that this one was really only a little sin. It’s of no real consequence in the scheme of things.
Look at that image again. Drink it in. Is God serious about our sin do you think?
This is the price He paid, so that you and I could be forgiven. This is the price He paid so that you and I could be set free. This is the price of His grace toward you and toward me and toward any man, woman or child, who would believe that the Son of God – Jesus – is who He said He is, did what the Bible says He did, and paid the price of our sin.
My friend, this is the glorious, blood-red message of Easter. It’s a brutal message. It’s a confronting message.
God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
The physical pain that Jesus suffered is … well, unimaginable. But what about the spiritual pain?
Have you ever woken up in the morning and remembered that horrible, stupid thing you did yesterday? That stupid thing that you said or did? That person whom you love, who you hurt so deeply … and felt the pain of that sin? That dull ache behind your eyes? That torn heart in your breast?
Horrible wasn’t it?
Now imagine if you could feel the pain of all your life’s sin in one instant. It would be totally unbearable wouldn’t it?
Now … imagine that you can feel the pain of all the world’s sin – all the sin of every man and woman who has ever lived and who will ever lived on your shoulders.
That’s what Jesus bore on that Cross. Totally alone – His friends, His family, His disciples had deserted Him.
His Father, His Spirit had deserted Him – as our sin drove a brutal, dark wedge into the heart of the Trinity and for the first and last time in all eternity tore God Himself apart:
Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This was the price. This is the message. The brutal suffering of Jesus for you and me.
Why is it so important? Here’s why.
Because when we lay hold of the reality and extent of that suffering, and when we realise Who it was that suffered – the Son of God, the Creator of the universe, God Himself – we can but come to one conclusion:
That the price that was paid for you and me by Jesus on that Cross that day is so infinitely greater than the fullest extent of our sin, that we need never … never be afraid of casting ourselves completely on the mercy of God. We need never have an ounce of doubt that when we come before God in repentance seeking forgiveness, that the price of our sin has been so fully paid, that we are instantly, completely, totally forgiven.
That’s why they call that terrible day, Good Friday.
Other Easter Blog Posts:
Honest Answers Poll #4 – What Does Easter Really Mean to You?
What You Really Think About Easter
Appalled by the Easter Messages of Some Prominent Church Leaders
Good Friday: Easter Art Evokes Anger
That’s why I cry! I is just so awesome… I am so greatful for grace! Thanks Berni.
is it possible for a person to want to be forgiven but not loved? or not want to be forgiven at all?
after showing an unbeliever Christ’s suffering and he/she refuses, how should one react?
thanks to media and other beliefs/occult, Easter isn’t as significant anymore. hopefully people will wake up.
thanks for this message.
Hi Berni and Everyone reading this. May to Lord our God continue to shine His face upon us all and richly bless us and keep us.
Thankyou for posting this blog and image. I do wonder how the Father felt when he had to “look the other way” when his own only begotten son was hanging on that cross at the hands of murderers. What pain must have ripped his heart open. SUCH LOVE. To think that when Jesus took on that crown of thorns he was,I imagine, thinking about all the mental torment he was sparing us from the we deserved for our sins and also all our sickeness and guilt. When I repented I was instantly healed of mental torment and anxiety.
Gods love for us is more powerful than anything, Jesus more than paid the price for our sin, great message for Good Friday. We can’t possibly know how much God loves us but that picture gives us a humbling look at the reality of the Cross and the willing sacrifice Jesus made for us all. What an amazing love.
“I struggled as to whether I should use this confronting image on this blog post to depict what happened on ‘Good Friday’. I struggled with it because I thought I might offend someone. I struggled with it because I thought it might be hard for you to look at.”
Being a Christian also means carrying a Stigma, it doesn’t matter how confronting the message or image is…we have to give it out, because they are from GOD.
I like very much the message you provided, the contrast of the brutality, the pain, the suffering Jesus had to go through for us.
As compared to normally how on average “We” Christians see Easter…
And because of this…, There is NO MORE EXCUSE!
Everyday of day our lives we should remember his Grace, not just once a year during Easter.
Your message highlights to me the truth that God would sacrifice His Son so that he could have a relationship with us. It also higlights to me the obedience of Jesus, who knew the hardship He would have to endure to save us. I have to admit that I haven’t always been obedient, and for that I am remorseful. But I can still recognise that every time we are obedient it impacts on whatever God’s plans are for all of us. I pray that God will work on my weaknesses in my heart so that I will be obedient without being afraid of the consequences – Jesus being the great example.
Our Good Friday was purchased with more love and pain that I can grasp. Thank Berni for turning our eyes back on the truth if GOOD Friday
Great thanks Berni for this message. Yes none can really imagine how much that hurts to get a nail slammed through the middle of your hand and afterwards the other hand and the even the feet. None can imagine this agony before the actual crucifixion began. And then to bear the weight of this world’s sin that kills anyone before the cross has even been raised up. But Jesus did it because the strength of the Father was up on Him. Thank you Jesus for giving all of us a new chance. I pray than many may contemplate on this on Easter and may share it with those in their surroundings who still think on Easter the Easter Bunny is bringing eggs. God bless you!
Thank you Berni, I am glad you posted this, very thought provoking and humbling. Will carry this with me today. Thank you Jesus
when you look at life nothing else matters……..Lord i am so grateful
Thank you Berni! a great reminder what Easter is truly about.
Yes, confronting, yes, moving!! When I remember that He knew what was coming and still went willing to that cruel cross to save us, showing how much He loves us, I am humbled and wish to serve Him more fruitfully. Thank you Berni, for overcoming your struggle and bringing us back to the important aspect – to love Him and obey Him in gratitude. God bless, Ruth
Thanks Berni it is a confronting message BUT we need to get some understanding of the significance of this “ACT OF LOVE”! Your message mirrors & underlines the message given at my Church this morning.
Dear Berni thank you for your comments and yes it was a horrible day but a good one. As I thought about the real meaning of GOOD FRIDAY I remembered what Isaiah wrote in Is 53:1-12 and Matthew in Chapter 26. This is the sole reason I believe Good Friday.
Thank you Berni, I now understand why it is called “Good Friday”.
Great reminder of what Easter is really about.
Not just a holiday. If only society really knew
What JESUS done for us and suffered so we
could have freedom in Christ for our sins. On that
day sin and death has no hold over us. Jesus set
us free once and for all. Thankyou Jesus.
Oh Lord forgive us may we never make light of the greatest gift and sacrifice this world will ever know I am humbled thankyou Berni
Thank you Berni for a wonderful yet sobering reminder of why we as Christians celebrate Good Friday. Thanks be to our Great God!!
I find Easter a very humbling time. I imagine Jesus at this time, and what he was going through in the lead up to his crucifixion. His humanness is shown when he cries out to his Father. He suffered for ME! For US! And yet we still continue to sin.
A great confronting message this very somber morning.
Best blog I’ve ever read on the Easter Message Berni!
Thanks Berni, this day was always meant to be confronting. A Maronite Catholic girlfriend and I did the visiting of 7 churches late last night and at Church 5 I remember just wanting to pray that we don’t take this ultimate sacrifice for granted.
Late last night and all yesterday I remember seeing the non religious people in our society rushing off for a ‘long weekend’! That’s what I find is not a nice thing to be confronted with when the rest of us are making sure we devote ourselves to remembering why we are here.
But today is not hard for us, when I imagine what it would have been like for Mary to watch her son die in such a painful and unjust way. What she gave up for us is also a precious gift, and seeing people praying in the churches that were open last night was heart warming.
Thanks for taking the time to post this on good friday. M
What an awesome reminder! God fully gave, so we could fully live!!
Thanks for the reminder Berni. It’s easy to forget the reality.