Thursday, April 01, 2010

Good Friday and Easter Sunday

"I'm so happy. We have a short week this week and next week,"she squeaks with delight.

I was walking with my daughter to school this morning. She was in a jovial mood as tomorrow is Good Friday, and Monday is Easter. So she has a four day school week both this week as well as next week. She was all excited about Easter eggs and bunny, and all the fun surrounding this very solemn Christian event. I thought to myself:
"How can I describe Passion Week to a little child? How do I share about the sufferings of Christ as He willingly walks to the cross, to be cruelly crucified? How do I be gentle about the dark side of humanity, and at the same time, present the bright hope of Jesus' resurrection?"

I decide to tell it simply and gently. Before Easter, there is the remembrance of Jesus' suffering at the Cross, willingly, and intentionally. I talk about Jesus being led by a lamb to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world. That act shows us how evil the world is. It shows us how bad things can happen to the most perfect human being ever to walk this earth. It shows us the depth of human wickedness, which is more than matched by the depth of God's love. What intrigues me is the fact that Jesus did not complain to others, except to plead with God. He feels alone, rejected and has all the reasons in the world to feel helpless and hopeless. He could have turned aside. He could have retaliated against the injustice inflicted on him. He could have claimed trial, and defend himself vigorously. He could also have organized a group of freedom fighters, the way that William Wallace did for Scotland in the movie Braveheart. Jesus did none of these. Instead, he keeps himself focused on fulfilling the will of God. He prefers the cloak of humility, forsaking the garment of power and riches. He chooses to obey, instead of envying and asking: "Of all people, Why me?"

Love is the reason. In fact, it is not the highs of Resurrection hope, nor the lows of the death on Good Friday. It is not even the journey to the Cross that is the highlight of Passion Week. It is the love that drives the actions, the thoughts and the deeds. It is the love that empowers Jesus to overcome all odds and doubts. It is this love that surpasses all human understanding. It is that deep deep love of Jesus, that enables him to suffer, to be bullied and to die on a cruel cross. Without this love, there is no Easter. Without this love, there is no holidays that we enjoy today.

I remember telling my daughter, that we need to remember Jesus even as we enjoy picking up Easter eggs and chocolate goodies. The world around may choose only the fun and happy times. We choose to believe that life is more wholesome than that. Good times or bad when seen under the lens of God's will is a lot more real. It is a lot more human. A wholesome life prevents us from entering life with rosy-coloured spectacles. It enables us to be realistic, that life is a roller coaster of ups and downs. More importantly, as Christians, life is a journey with Jesus, who promises that at the end of it all, there is victory, there is hope, and above all, there is love unlimited in Christ.

Let us remember Jesus through the week, and always. Let us remember that Jesus loves us, that is why He needs to die. Jesus loves us, so that we can live through Him. Jesus loves us, so that we can be resurrected with Him when the kingdom comes.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above!

[Words: Samuel Trevor Francis; Music: Welsh Melody]
Did my daughter get it?

I doubt it. I am not even sure that she understands 10% from her theologizing dad. Anyway, one thing is for sure. She knows Passion Week is not merely about Easter. It is about Jesus. That alone, is good enough for me. God, bless these little children. They may not know a lot of theology, but they sure can enjoy the simple things in life. If we can all rejoice at the sight on just one Easter egg, how much more can we delight at the sight of Jesus' Face one day?


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