Easter Sunday began for Hubby and me in a rather unfortunate fashion. At 1:30 am, I awoke to Maddi going ‘clip clop, clip clop’ on the wooden floor in our hallway. It was a rather demented kind of action and went on for what seemed at least 30 minutes. Eventually, I called out to her to ‘lie down’ and to go ‘night night’. Peace reigned after a few seconds of our dog circling round and round.
Then, an hour later, just as I was finally dozing off, Zack decided that it was his turn to go walkabout. This time, Hubby actually got out of bed because there was a bad smell emanating from somewhere. Zack had done a poo! So now I was trying to breathe without actually inhaling that nasty smell at the same time. As for Hubby, he scooped up the watery mess, disinfected the area with antiseptic spray, and then went to check on Maddi. Ah, Maddi! She too had left a number of smelly deposits. Our dogs were suffering from runny tummies.
Thus did the early hours of Easter morning see Hubby and I doze off intermittently only to be awoken by either one of the dogs in need of the bathroom. Between the two of us, we possibly had four hours’ sleep! I finally gave up trying to go to sleep around 7:30 am. Soon, I would be heading up to the kitchen to prepare for breakfast service, but meanwhile, I thought I would read the Bible and have some quiet time with God before doing so.
Today, Easter Sunday, is the day that Christians all over the world remember the resurrection of Christ. There is no profit in being a Christian unless Christ is risen. Without His resurrection, anyone who follows Christ would be, quite literally, worshipping a dead man. Now, what would be the point of that?
Imagine my delight then when the first (musical) thing I heard this morning was a beautiful rendition of Sir John Stainer’s ‘God so loved the world’. The lyrics come from John 3:16-17, and remind us just how much God loves each and everyone of us. Can Man comprehend it? God gave us His one and only Son; sacrificed His beloved Jesus to die on the Cross for you and me, with all that weight of sin – past, present and future – separating Him from His own son, so that Mankind might be reconciled to God if we accept this exceptional gift of life through His Son.
Think about how heartbroken both God the Father and Jesus the Son must have felt when God, who is holy, could not even countenance His own Son, Jesus, because He had become the object of sin personified when He took on all those diseases of the soul which can only be washed away by His death and resurrection. Yes, Jesus and His Father knew that He would rise again; but that does not lesson the trauma of separation between the Father and the Son, nor the pain – physical, mental, and spiritual – that Jesus, who being both fully man as well as fully God, suffered. Think of the events leading up to the actual crucifixion: Jesus’ knowledge of what must happen and how He must suffer before He is raised again. Then think of how, as His Father, God too must suffer to see His son in such anguish.
That is how much God loves us. When we reject Him, we are rejecting that love. When we accept Him and ask Jesus into our lives as Saviour and Lord, we embrace His love for us. But it does not just end there. God promises to be with us through thick and thin. Even when we cannot ‘feel’ Him, He is there, rooting for us, disciplining us that we might grow in His ways, encouraging us so that we will develop into more mature and, for want of a better word, elegant Christians – people with the heart of Christ and the love of God in us that we might live lives that honour Him. And God’s promise to His children? ‘I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matthew 28:20)