Don’t forget at Easter
14 March 2021
At the start of murder mystery films there is often a yellow outline on the floor where the body was found. It’s usually displayed as a thick and very neat outline. For me the reality is now somewhat different. Post-accident I have seen photographs of my own yellow chalk outline on the road where my body lay. The pictures include blood stains and numbered cones.
Our cosseted society does tend to clean and tidy things up. Who would have thought that an instrument of torture and execution would become an item of Jewellery? The cross of Christ is now comfortable to wear and made with expensive shiny metal rather than splintering blood stained wood. There was a period when I saw more with a man on it with INRI written above His head. Today, where I currently live, I see more without the man which the wearer might justify because Jesus is no longer on the cross.
Christians should not forget Jesus irrespective of their theological allegiance. Sadly some may wear the cross decoratively without any faith. INRI, is an abbreviation of “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum” a Latin translation of the sign Pilot had added to the cross, meaning ”Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (John 19:19)
It seems the mind knows how to protect itself from trauma to a degree. The brain can tidy away an event and I currently have no memory of my accident. This leaves me with unanswered questions. Questions can sometime lead to more questions that can actually help. The traumatic execution of Jesus must have left the disciples with unanswered questions about their future too.
Peter, a close disciple of Jesus, even denied knowing Jesus pre crucifixion when asked, three times. He was distraught. (Mark 14:66-72) Resurrected, Jesus used questions to help Peter move on from his denial. He asked him three times, “Do you love me?” Even at this point Peter understood that Jesus would know the truth that, despite what he’d done, he did love Jesus. At this point Jesus gave him an important job, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:1-19)
Jesus used questions frequently to help people move forward. Questioning is a powerful tool for a skilled teacher.
Who would we have expected to be the first person to meet the post resurrected Jesus? One of the three key disciples? It was Mary Magdalene, a woman who had travelled with Jesus and had been there to support his ministry. (Luke 8:1-3) She also stayed with him even at the foot of the cross witnessing his excruciating pain. The ladies were there as the foot of the cross. (John 19:25)
A better record than the men earlier, “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour? he asked Peter.” (Matthew 26:40) For Mary, watching him die must have been traumatic and puzzling. He had saved her from Demons. (Mark 16:9) Now He had died in front of her.
Jesus cared for her. His first post resurrection words to Mary were questions. “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” When she turned to see Him and heard Him use her name, her confidence in Him burst out immediately. She cried out, “Rabbonbi” meaning teacher. (John 20:11-16)
Both Peter and Mary moved forward from trauma in recognition of their love for Jesus and who he was. Perhaps, the men and women of today need to learn from them. We may try to divide people into groups such as gender, race and royalty but God loves to unite us, with Him. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
There is a risk in polishing up and smoothing out the Christian symbol, the cross of Christ. We must not loose it’s meaning and purpose in our new born-again Easter lives. New life means a great deal to me post traumatic injury and symbolic yellow outline. Some consider Sunday the first day of the week and this Sunday 14th March is my birthday and start of another year.
New starts are good and Jesus may no longer be on the cross when we celebrate Easter, but we should not forget the price He paid for all of our futures. We move forward, with Him, together.