I’m prefacing today’s blog with a quick, note, this post has been difficult to write.
I’m not saying I dislike Easter, I don’t, it’s just not my favorite. Before I tell you why, let me reveal a little known fact, my degrees in Christian Counseling and Cross Cultural Communications were obtained from a Seminary. Yes, there was a time long ago, when I considered being a minister. I realized quickly I wouldn’t make a very good minister. But that is another story.
I feel we focus too much on Jesus’ death and don’t place adequate focus on his life and ministry. I have studied many Christian Doctrines and Philosophies. I have studied Christianity from both a historical and an anthropological perspective. I’ve studied just the life, times and words of Jesus.
Based on all written accounts of the man both historically and spiritually He was never mean, abusive, hateful, or intimidating. He was kind, gentle, polite, usually well spoken (even when telling the Priests exactly how he felt about them and when driving the merchants from the temple). He loved children and respected women. As the song says, His Law is Love and His Gospel is Peace. Yet, He was subjected to the most horrific torture and painful death any of us can imagine. He committed no crime and was no danger to anyone. He preached generosity, faith, peace and love. His death was purely political, but this also is another post for another time.
I don’t watch crucifixion reenactments, scenes in movies or even read them anymore. I’ve paid my dues, I know every mournful detail of His last three days as a mortal. I’ve spent time in Israel. I helped repair a Greek Orthodox church and school damaged by neglect and war. I’ve been to Golgotha, I’ve touched the stone believed to be the stone His body was laid upon to prepare it for burial and yes, there were dried blood stains on it. And I’ve walked the Via Dolorosa. I walked it in the heat, having to push through crowds and watch people going about their daily routine just as He did the day He walked that path.
This is the Garden of Gethsemane, where He spent his last moments as a free man. Yet, as I stood there on a hot July day in 2000, I was remembering the man who prepared breakfast for his disciples after His resurrection. The man who said to never forbid children to come to him. A man who prevented a woman from being stoned to death. A man who restored life and hope many times, and left behind only faith,peace and love. I prefer to show my respect by humbly honoring His life. A life which continues even now. So tomorrow, I will think of His life, how He changed the world and what His heart’s desires are for all of us.
I leave you with some light, happy pictures I look at when I need to smile. Because that’s what I believe He wants from us. My honest opinion is He is a warm, kind, friendly, loving man with a great sense of humor.