He lives. Jesus wins. He conquers death.
Yesterday was Palm Sunday, and for the first time in a long time, I was confronted with the truth about the Gospel and how great this Good News actually is. How triumphant his entry, riding on a donkey with palm branches and tunics lining his path. Crowds shouting "Hosanna!", praising him for who he was and what they heard and saw him do. I can only imagine the crowds that gathered - the who's who of Jerusalem mixed with lepers, beggars, and the healed following the One who breathed in new life in their dead and dying bodies.
But then things changed, and soon Jesus was a man people hated and wanted dead. How did people forget? How did the masses un-see the miracles He performed just days before? How could they not remember what He had already done for them?
It's like that time I watched "The Avengers" for the second time today. I have seen The Avengers once before - in the theater, when it was just released; I know how it ends. I stayed past the credits (twice!) to watch the hidden easter egg at the end (the very end). But, when I was watching it a second time earlier this evening, I was f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g out when Loki descended upon earth with his alien friends (disclaimer to all Marvel comic-enthusiasts out there: I am not one of you so I might get beloved alien names/races or plot lines or Avenger names wrong, so...lo siento). I watched as Loki opened that portal thing on top of Stark towers and watched in horror as (what looks like) the worst swarm of biting gnats to ever descend on the earth started flooding the skies of New York City. And then all the Avengers are trying to fight Loki and these alien dudes and the whole time I'm thinking to myself "where is the Hulk" and then I'm clutching the couch pillow tighter and then I'm shouting "WATCH OUT!" to that archer dude on the top of the building (told you I'm not good at names)...
...and then I realized two things: 1. They get shawarma at the end, and they're definitely all there, and all still alive, and 2. Iron Man 3 is supposed to be released later this summer, which means he's also not dead and most definitely alive. So...all the freaking out I did earlier? Unwarranted.
Do you know what else is unwarranted? Freaking out when life hands you lemons because you forget that Jesus rose from the dead already. Y'all - rose. from. the. dead. Think that's not that big of a deal? Let's take a moment to think about the people you know personally who have died but then came back to life...
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Sometimes there are periods of time in my life where things start going down the crapper, and I start freaking out and start thinking and believing that I am my only saving hope. That only I can do what needs to be done to get me out of the mess I got myself into. It is in those times that I have forgotten that Jesus came, He lived/breathed/walked/talked/slept/ate/loved like I do...but with perfection. And not only did He come and live/breathe/walk/talk/sleep/eat/love, but He also died. For me, wayyyyyyy before I was even a thought in the history books. Because He loves me. And thought of me. And knew my sinfulness. And still chose to save me, by dying on a cross. To forgive me. For my sins...past, present, and future.
v i c t o r i o u s l y
from the grave.
Christ rose from the dead, trampling over death by death. To give us life. To give us mercy. To give us hope.
When I think about Holy Week - Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday - this is what I think about. I think about how I already KNOW the ending to this beautiful, Good News story, and how I easily forget it all the time. When we celebrate the risen Christ on Sunday, I will be reminded that I know how this story ends, and I know where I am in that story. So the next time life attempts to throw me down the deepest, darkest sinkhole, I will know how the story ends and I will know that I have already been redeemed. And out of my lips I shall adorn Him with praise.
Hosanna in the highest to the One who came to die for us so that we could be saved!