Wow. Yesterday was Good Friday, and our church held its annual Remembrance Walk. Each year it's a little bit different, but always with great impact. This year as we walked from "station" to "station" we encountered those who had previously encountered Jesus.
It started off in the Upper Room. Jesus and the disciples had already left for the Garden of Gethsemane, but we met a waiter there who described how Jesus had washed their feet and broke the bread and passed the cup.
Our next stop was the Garden itself, but just as we got there, James, the disciple, told us "You just missed Jesus. The Roman soldiers just took Him away." That hit me hard, for some reason, and for the rest of the evening, I felt like I was hurrying to catch up with Jesus, but always just missing Him. I don't know what I would have done had I been able to catch up to Him. Even if I had warned Him about what lay ahead, I know He wouldn't have listened to me. He was on a mission.
There were other stations and other encounters, but another that really struck me personally was when we met the thief who had died beside Him on the cross. He shared with us as he woke up in Paradise and saw the risen Savior, how overjoyed he was, especially when Jesus looked at him and said, "I remember you." Oh, I got goosebumps. How I long to hear my Savior say to me, "Charlotte! I remember you!"
This was an interactive walk. At one station there were wooden crosses and buckets of red paint where we could pray for someone in need of healing and paint a red stripe on one of the crosses because "by His stripes we are healed." At another we either prayed the sinner's prayer for ourselves or prayed for a loved one in need of salvation and we lit candles for them.
And on and one it went....took me about 30 minutes to go all the way through--and it culminated as always in us taking communion.
It was a heavy evening--and I left with a feeling of sadness. It was Friday night, after all. They had just crucified Jesus.
But I had the hope that Friday night would give way to Sunday morning. Here I sit today, poised between the two: looking back at the Cross and looking forward to the stone being rolled away.
There will be many people not bothering to celebrate tomorrow at all for the day holds no meaning for them whatsoever. There will be many more people celebrating tomorrow because of their new Easter bonnets, or the Easter parades, or because the Easter bunny brought a basket or they're looking forward to the Easter Egg hunt.
I will celebrate tomorrow because it is Resurrection Sunday. I am saved and set free because of what my Savior did. He was God, but didn't consider being God something to hold on to. Instead He humbled Himself, came to earth as a little baby, and humbled himself all the way to the shameful, painful death on a cross. But death couldn't hold Him.
Oh, no. His enemies thought they had Him...but He wasn't there. He's alive!!!
And because of what He did, I am alive. My enemies cannot defeat me. Bad habits and unhealthy choices have no hold over me. Food has no power over me. I am free...to live a healthy, prosperous and abundant life because of Him.
The enemy's been defeated.
Death couldn't hold You down.
We're going to shout Your name in victory
We're going to sing Your praises loud.
Because He lives, I can face all my tomorrows!
He is Risen!!!!!
Happy Resurrection Sunday to each of you.