Easter is proof a lot can happen in a week

Published 2:29 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024

As we near the end of Holy Week, it is always a humbling time for me when I sit and think about how the events of a seven-day span 2,000 years ago completely reshaped the world.

For both Christians and members of many other faiths, the life and death of Jesus are more than just significant. Even in a secular sense, his life and death are arguably as impactful as any in history. But, for those of us of the Christian faith, neither compare to what came three days after he was put on that cross so long ago. And it is that event we celebrate Sunday when we
gather for Easter services.

Growing up the son of a baptist minister, it was impressed upon me at an early age that it is Easter, not Christmas, that is the
most important of our Christian holidays. Of course the birth of our Savior is a time to celebrate, but without the resurrection, Christianity as we know it would not exist.

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Growing up, I became very accustomed to how my dad would deliver his Easter sermons. So much so that, by the time I was reaching adulthood, I felt like I was capable of giving them myself. But, just because they were often similar to ones he had given before did not mean they were any less moving.  An aspect of the events leading up to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus that always stood out to me was the moment in the Garden of Gethsemane when the Bible says Jesus was under such emotional stress that his sweat was as great drops of blood.

I guess that moment, to me, underscored the humanity of the man we know to have also been God in the flesh. The fact that he was under such an emotional strain – even praying to God to spare Him, but not if it was His will that He die – touched me in a way I can’t explain. Can you imagine what Jesus must have been going through?

The second moment of that week that always resonates with me is when, following the resurrection, the disciples start to really put two and two together and several of them begin to race toward the tomb. My dad always pointed out that it was John who reached the tomb first, but it was Peter who didn’t hesitate to enter. Dad’s theory: That Peter was so emotionally distraught after denying Jesus three times, that he must have been thinking “If I can just see him again!” Even now, I get a lump in my throat thinking about that. He just wanted to say how sorry he was.

Love and forgiveness. That’s what those two stories preach. Jesus loved us enough to die a horrible death, despite being the
only one of us who had done nothing to deserve such a punishment. And, as for Peter, Jesus showed him grace despite his
transgression, as he shows us all grace every day, despite ours. That Friday was a dark, dark day for Peter, and for the world. But Sunday’s light outshone it.

That’s what we celebrate in a few days.

Blake Bell is the general manager and executive editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at blake.bell@vicksburgpost.com.