The Easter story is the greatest story ever told on earth. It is the most irrational story ever considered. The only sinless man willingly lays down His life and suffers for the sins of the billions of sinful humans. A holy God brings the essence of His being into the souls of humans who have rejected Him, and whose service and devotion to Him has been sketchy at best. The Easter story is the greatest paradox that has ever existed. It is a brilliant irony that settles the problem of sin.
The unexpected events of Easter don’t stop there. The Easter story revealsthe illogicality of men who reject Jesus and the amazing love of God.
The religious leaders of Israel were caught in an ironic twist of Easter. Theyplanned to kill Jesus so He would not change their system of worshipping God.They had worked their deals with Rome and did not want Jesus eliciting theirfollowers to worship God the way He preached. John 11:49-53 tells about the statementCaiaphas, the High Priest that year, made that it is better for one man todie than for the whole nation to perish. Caiaphas didn’t say thison his own—this leader in the opposition to Jesus was a prophet of whathe would lead the religious rulers to do to Jesus. Caiaphas and his friends determinednot to kill Jesus at the Passover, but that was not for them to plan.
Another irrational reality of Easter was the trials of Jesus. Never was theresuch a breach of justice and mockery in a judicial system. The trials were doomedfrom the beginning. The people were asked to bring false accusations about Jesus(Matthew 26:59). There was no denying the purpose of these trials was to searchfor a rationale to kill Him. The truth was never a factor.
Judas rises as the most ironic of the characters of Easter. His loyalties easilyswayed between the Sanhedrin and Jesus based on what he thought each could dofor him. Jesus brought attention to Judas’ disturbing plan to betray Himto the Sanhedrin with a kiss (Luke 22:48). The greatest irony that Judas livedout was after he became aware of his grievous sin in betraying Jesus; he choseto go the priests to confess rather than God. Their response, What is thatto us? They replied. That’s your responsibility. Their responseto his sin left him without recourse. He threw down the silver coins and tookhis own life (Matthew 27:1-10).
The phrase that creates the greatest irony at Easter was made by the crowds inMathew 27:25, The people answered, Let his blood be on us and on our children! Theyhad no idea what they were asking. They were speaking truth because Jesus’ bloodis on all of us. Every sinner takes personal responsibility for His death. ATthe same time, taking on the blood of Jesus is what cleanses us from sin. Thepeople thought they were serving God by asking for the blood of Jesus and demandingHis death. Did they ever understand what they said and receive His blood as apayment for their sin?
Easter is an invitation for us to examine our hearts and make our own commitments.The greatest paradox is that you, a sinner, are made righteous enough to meetwith God because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. May your HolyWeek observances lead you to deeper wonder about the Easter Message.