So many times in thinking of Easter, more importantly thinking of Good Friday, we focus more on the empty tomb than the occupied Cross. But the tomb doesn't matter without the Cross... Borrowed or brand new, without the death of Jesus there is no need for the tomb. Here's the truth in my opinion... From my perspective anyway: we don't focus on the Cross or Good Friday because that's the gory, sad, depressing part of the story. And the most depressing part...
... Because it's my fault He had to die.
... It's your fault He had to die.
... We caused His death.
Now as we all know... He knew the deal, He knew the way the story would end, He knew the cup wouldn't pass from Him, He knew Judas would betray him from the moment they met, He knew all of that...
... And He still went thru with it.
Sometimes there just aren't words to describe His willingness not to sacrifice for me, but TO BE the sacrifice for me. In my 32 years I have sometime had a hard time grappling with the significance of that on my individual life... But a verse I read last night gave me the reality check I needed:
In chapter 16 of Deuteronomy God is continuing to give instructions for Festivals, Passovers, etc... In my One Year bible reading plan I've been reading a lot of the less exciting books of the bible... Yes I said it... The books that include lineage and laws... and lots of them. The Old Testament is a lot of things, but legalistic is definitely one of the words I would use to describe it. God was EXTREMELY particular in his instruction to the Israelites regarding buildings, paths, tents, feasts, and particularly sacrifices. And this verse 17 is no different... But here is the reality check.
How is it possible??
How is it possible to bring a gift to The Lord that is "in proportion to the way The Lord your God has blessed you."
I'm no theologian, but here is my answer... It's not possible.
And this is one if the many reasons why the Cross matters so much... There is nothing I could make, purchase, grow or raise that would be REMOTELY proportionate to what God has blessed me with as He requested.
Jesus became the New Testament physical sacrifice which removed us (you, me, and the modern world), from the requirements of the Old Testament physical sacrifice.
Think about it...
What could you possibly bring to God that would cover even some of your blessings?? I've been blessed immeasurably in this life... Even thru the valleys, God blessed me. Even when I yelled at Him and didn't go to church because I was mad because He took my daddy... He still blessed me. It's just. Not. Possible.
... It's also not required... Not anymore.
Not after the Jesus... and certainly not after Cross.
... And I sure am thankful for that (oh look, there is another blessing!)!!