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Very few, if any of us journey through this side of eternity without a time when “life stood still.” Perhaps for you it was the death of a child, your spouse’s betrayal, the unexpected loss of a job, bankruptcy…the list could go on and on and on. It goes without saying that life truly does NOT end up like any of us have planned.

As we approached Easter, I think about my Jesus. He knew what his final week would entail. He had “read” the final chapter and knew what was to come. Jesus knew his destiny and it wasn’t to easy or pretty. Max Lucado said it best….

Enter the holy week and observe. Feel His passion. Laughing as children sing. Weeping as Jerusalem ignores. Scorning as priests accuse. Pleading as disciples sleep. Feeling sad as Pilate turns.
Sense his power. Blind eyes…seeing. Fruitless tree… withering. Money changers….scampering. Religious leaders…cowering. Tomb…..Opening.
Hear his promise. Death has no power. Failure holds no prisoners. Fear has no control. For God has come, God has come into your world…to take you home.”

It takes my breath away when I sit down and think about the fact that Jesus knew what would happen in his last week. He knew what was coming yet he continued to live. In fact, He lived his last week with probably more zest than he had lived the precious 32 years!
Thinking about those times when life has stood still for me, I have to confess…more times than not I have lived with my human tendancies instead of like my Jesus! I have walkout adversity with bitterness, anger, resentment and a lot of time self-pity.

I can admit those emotions above and no longer feel shamed or condemned. Because like Max stated…God has come into my world…to take me home. (Do I hear an Amen?) Jesus went through that last week not for my perfection, but for my imperfections! He knew…he knew what his final week would hold and what he would go through on that fateful Friday. And He also knew what he was dying for. For me…. for you, for the mistakes we made, the stinking thinking we have and for the crutches we reach for in this imperfect world.

He died on that cross, not for me to get all cleaned up and appear spotless before him. He died so I wouldn’t have to, at least not when I first called out his name! He suffered, shed his blood and cried out …..”Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

He took my place and yours on that cross, so when our world stands still…we can reach out to Him. To the One who can help us regain our sanity, throw away our crutches, stinking thinking and self-doubt. And live. Live with passion, laughter and love!

Happy Easter, dear ones. This Easter Sunday, my prayer is you will see the Cross in a way like never before, that you will love our Jesus more than you ever have and in doing so, you too will no longer feel shame or condemnation!