It’s ironic to me that the week ahead is the greatest celebration of the Christian world as we remember the greatest tragedy of all time. I struggle for words to describe how I can celebrate with joy a time of great tragedy and loss, but I do, we all do if we know what that terrible day meant.
In the week ahead we will intentionally remember the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial, and finally celebrate His resurrection. All events of time and history. All critically important not just for the church, but for the world He came to die for and save.
There is an interesting passage found in Colossians 1:15-28 that gives a panorama of these events in such a unique way. It has long been a favorite passage for me as I celebrate the gift of life given to me by the death of Jesus Christ. Here is Paul’s grand overview of the tragedy, the glory and the hope found in Jesus Christ:
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
The Creator becoming a Man, dying on a cross by the hands of His creation, rising again and providing forgiveness and life for the very ones who crucified Him. The empty tomb provided us the hope of life and an eternity with our living Savior. It’s an amazing picture of the great love and grace of God…that He would do all of this because He loves us. How could we ever doubt His love once we have looked at the cross? How could we doubt His power when He rose from the chains of death?
And finally, at the end of time, there will be a day when He will be worshipped by all of humanity from every nation, tongue and time as we all bow and declare this hope:
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
What a wonderful God! How amazing that he could take the greatest tragedy of time and turn it into the greatest glory anyone will ever see.
Thank you, Jesus, for what you were willing to do to save me and show me the love of God for me. Thank you for the gift of eternal life that is found in You. My hope is built on nothing less than Your death and resurrection. You turned Tragedy into Glory and gave us all Hope.