If you grew up in church like me, you’ve heard the Easter story a million times. I know the gruesome details like the back of my hand. Every time Easter rolls around my heart aches a little bit deeper as I reflect on what Christ did for me and I’m always flooded with emotion and gratitude.
Yesterday I was reading Matthew’s account of the crucifixion and when I read verse 54, this flash of insight knocked on my heart.
“But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed his last. At that moment, the Temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom. There was an earthquake, and rocks were split in pieces. What’s more, tombs were opened up, and many bodies of believers asleep in their graves were raised… the captain of the guard and those with him, when they saw the earthquake and everything else that was happening, were scared to death. They said, “This has to be the Son of God!” –Matthew 27:50-54
Up till this moment the captain of the guard treated Jesus like everybody else: Who does He think He is? If you’re really the Son of God, save yourself. What’s the matter with you, you can perform miracles but what? – you can’t crawl down from that cross? It was nothing but a display of arrogance, disbelief and close-hearted coldness for what was happening right in front of him/them… until… in a flash display… a pretty huge moment knocked him off his feet.
They don’t mention the captain of the guard again, but I’m pretty sure he – along with everybody else – were sputtering around like a bunch of idiots. They had just witnessed one of the most significant moments in all of history but their lack of awareness made them ignorantly oblivious as it was happening.
I can’t help but think, how am I any different?
It’s easy to read those passages of scripture and think, you idiots! – how could you not be aware of the significance of that moment? But truth be told, I miss many significant Jesus moments when I walk out my front door more concerned with what is going on in my own world, than what is going on in the Kingdom. I have no right to judge someone else for his or her arrogance and disbelief and close-hearted coldness when my own apathy mocks, ignores and dismisses Jesus every time I over look Him disguised in the least of these.
Today’s devotion is not meant to be an Easter spanking so you feel depressed and unfestive. It’s meant to serve as a reminder that all of us have fallen short of the glory of God.. all of us miss the subtly of Jesus while looking for Him in the glitzy obvious… all of us ignore who He is when we’re more caught up with the show, the display, and the bigness of an Easter celebration rather than the meaning behind it.
So don’t wait for some “big curtain moment” to be reminded of who Jesus is. See Him through the eyes of your surrendered and grateful heart.
May our hearts never stop aching…
May we never stop reflecting…
May we never stop being flooded with gratitude and emotion for a Gospel so compelling and a love so selfless that He would take our place and declare, “It is finished!”
It’s a Good Friday indeed!