Truth be told, there's a little bit, or even more than a little, in all of us in each of the characters in the Easter story. Hypocritical Jewish Priests and Sanhedrin members who were holier-than-thou but plotted murder of an innocent man who threatened their hold on power, fickle crowds who said "Hosanna to the King!" one day and "Crucify him!" a week later, even fickle disciples who swore they would all die for Jesus and then fled like scared rabbits when he was arrested. My prayer is this Easter we will all become more like the one real hero of Easter, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:5-9 says let the mind of Christ be in you. "Let" means it's up to us whether we will allow the mind of Christ to be formed in us. Jesus has already done His part.
Today is Good Friday, the bleakest moment in the Gospel story. Reading the story of Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion today, we have the benefit of knowing that it’s all leading up to the triumph of Easter. But to the Jesus-followers present at the scene, it must have seemed that the world as they knew it was falling apart.
One of the challenges of reading the crucifixion story two thousands years after the event took place is that it’s difficult for us to empathize with its participants. From our perspective, the Easter crowds seem insanely fickle; Jesus’ disciples seem utterly clueless; the members of the Sandhedrin contemptibly evil; Pilate laughably corrupt.
Those things are true. Nobody except Jesus behaves well in the Good Friday story. But it’s these very people—fickle, clueless, evil, corrupt—that Jesus died for.
The truth is that we have much in common with the fools and villains of Easter. The wonder is that Jesus loved them, and us, enough to submit to foolishness, injustice, and death. The miracle is that three days later, he rose from the dead to offer us salvation. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
If you haven’t read the complete story of the crucifixion recently, today’s a perfect day to revisit it. Here are the four Gospel accounts of the story:
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9Happy Easter!