reflecting on Christ’s Sufferings

As we approach Easter celebration, it is important that we first stop to reflect on the Friday before the Sunday. Why is this? Because we could not have Sunday without Friday. The sacrifice that was made by Jesus is the only way that we could arrive at the celebration.

It is a tough visualization, but for the sake of its meaning, take a moment to think about what happened on that day. Jesus was scourged and beaten senselessly, bloodied and bruised, before he even took the physical heaviness of the cross upon his back.
The journey was excruciating. The destination was perilous. So why must we stop and think on such horrific things?
To reflect on this event is to recognize the cruelty of the sin in our lives. It is to understand the weight of the sin we carry around, much of the time, so lightly.
1 Peter says, “So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.”
Yet how often do we do these very things and do not recognize the gravity of these types of sins that God considers evil in his sight? Better yet, how could we ever measure up if we find ourselves in the act of deception, hypocrisy, jealousy, and unkind speech? It is the sacrifice of Jesus that causes us to have right standing. Nothing else. Only He could bridge the gap.

Today let us remember the following verses as we reflect on the events that bring us to the final celebration of the risen Christ.

Mark 10:34
“They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.” 
Romans 8:6-10
“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.”
1 Peter 3:18
“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.”
1 Peter 2:24-25
“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. Once you were like a sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.”
Let us reflect on the truth of these verses, and realize that God is in the midst of the suffering we see all around us. In the darkest pockets of darkness, He is behind the scenes doing powerful things to His glory. Let us rest in the fact that even in the midst of the current events of the world, He is doing great things. And let us reflect on the fact that in 3 days we will get to celebrate the greatest gift. That gift is the Resurrection of Christ.
So while it is important that we consider the rough road that got us to Easter Sunday, we can be assured by the fact that He did it for us. May we be evermore thankful for that gift and understand that in its brutality, God gave us something beautiful.
Matthew 12:40
“For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.”
After those long three days and nights, Christ rose from the dead! 

Don’t forget to celebrate Easter with your Journey Church family this Sunday at 11 am on Facebook Live! If you have family or friends that do not have a Church to call home, send them a text and let them know that you will be viewing Journey’s Easter service online and hold a watch party that they can join! This is the perfect time to share the gift of Christ and it is more accessible this year more than ever due to technology.

We love and miss you guys!