The gospel of John in chapter 19 covers the scope of this Holy season that concludes the season of Lent. I love this particular passage of scripture because it gives to the reader so much spiritual understanding and theological deepness as it relates to the suffering, and death of Jesus Christ. I also like this text because it gives all of us who are believers a chance to visualize what happened as we reread of the sacrifice of Christ.
It’s like the many families’ who gather together prior to Easter to watch Cecil B. DeMille’s Ten Commandments, I mean no matter how many times you’ve seen it, how many times you read the story, or how completely and totally racially bias the cast was towards the truth about the Egyptians and the Hebrew slaves, you watch that movie as if it were the first time.
John gives to us two important acts that I want to lift up quickly for this devotion the crucifixion and the pierced side. The crucifixion itself was the ultimate sacrifice that would atone for the sins of the world, it in itself was the only acceptable act that would allow those who would confess and be saved a chance to experience Gods radical grace. While the charges against us were right and justified, had it not been for Jesus’ radical and revolutionary acts on the cross, both you and I would still be trespassers in sin.
The second act was the pierced side. Pierre Barbet, MD writes in his book “A Doctor at Calvary” that every thing Christ did for us on the cross came literally from the heart. The spear used to pierce his side punctured his pericardium, lacerated his heart, therefore causing what looks like blood and water to flow from his side. The wound in the heart was more than just physical it was spiritual, it was the pain and agony mixed with the love and compassion of a bleeding savior sent to die for the sins of the whole world.
John reminds us that Easter isn’t about the commercialization of the Easter Bunny hiding decorated and bejeweled eggs filled with candies and toy prizes, neither is about pastels or loud paisley prints, coupled with big hats, stilettos, gators, and sock ministry. While to some this may appear as the churches big day, big day for attendance, and big offerings, the death of Christ on the cross was a real event, and the resurrection really did happen.
So let us reread the text with a renewed commitment and joy about the selfless acts of a loving savior, who came to die so that you and I may live. “Up from the grave he arose with a mighty triumph o’er his foes. He arose a victor of the dark domain, and he lives forever with the saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah Christ Arose!!!”
Brandon A. A. J. Davis, D.Min Senior Pastor
St. Andrewes AME Church
“Where Hope is Lived and Faith makes it Possible.”
Resurrection Sunday looks good on you! Resurrection power looks good on you! The promises of God now come true look good on you!
Enjoy this day praising God! Love wins, victory has overcome sin, death and hell and righteousness succeeds! Whatever you do today, do not let it slip by without thanking God for the work of the cross and resurrection from the grave. It’s a new day!
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Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie