The first time I saw the Passion of the Christ was overwhelming. I watched as grown men wiped crocodile tears and women clung to handkerchiefs. Boxes of tissues were passed around like the offering plate and groups from churches all over town stood outside waiting to talk to those who didn't understand why people were so broken. I remember feeling like I was glued to my chair as the credits rolled.
Micah and I didn't say a word as we shuffled to the nearest table outside the movie theater. We sat reflecting on what we just witnessed. Finally someone said something to the effect of, "Wow." I remember feeling a lot of different emotions all at once. Angry that it was my sin that attached my perfect Savior to that cross; sorrowful thinking about how Mary must've felt watching her son suffer such a terrible death; grateful that He had done that for me.
When people describe how it feels walking through Israel, how the Bible comes alive and the amazing sense of "He was here." Hearing those descriptions makes me think of how I felt during that movie. Everything I believe, everything I live for, everything I've read and studied, everything I know to be true suddenly becomes a vivid picture in my mind.
The best part of the story, though?
"He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay." Matthew 28:6
Could you imagine how crazy it would've been to see that, let alone try to explain to everyone else?
Our Savior rose from the dead, people. The story is awesome - two folded. Yes, he died for our sins; gave us a vivid picture of what sin does to our lives and where we would be if He hadn't given His life. But He rose from the dead. Why? Because He not only cared enough to die, He cared enough to not leave us alone.
This Easter I'm thankful for that two-folded story. Thankful for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thankful for the sacrifice. Thankful for my little boy. Mary was one strong woman. A woman of faith. The kind of mother I wish I was and hope to be. She ached with grief, but trusted that God knew exactly what He was doing.
I don't understand why God takes children from their mothers. I've witnessed a mother's grief twice in my life. One of which was televised so beautifully and the other came like a wave around our school. One made me cling to my pregnant belly and the other made me get my sleeping little boy out of his crib. Both shed light on Mary's experience. Both made me ache. However painful, maybe God allows such things to take place to teach us what it was like for God to sacrifice His son on our behalf. That's my theory. That's one of the questions I'll ask God when I get to Heaven. That's what I believe and that's what Easter is really about.
Enjoy the egg hunts, the feast, the new clothes and the bunny festivities. [You bet your sweet bippy I'll take pictures of my handsome man all decked out. It's going to be fantastic.]
Just don't ever forget what it's really about.