So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others - one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to pilated, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews."
Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
Thus begins an account of the Loving Sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, written by his best friend, and the man to whom he would leave the honor and burden of caring for his mother- John the Apostle.
All of the Bible leads up to this moment. Here, the Great Author of All has reached the climax of the story. Our hero seems poised to lose it all. What will happen next? All made so much more dramatic by the almost clinical description of the occurrences. From the time Adam and Eve ate of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, through the death and resurrection of the world itself in the flood. From Joseph being thrown into a well and raised up again, to Moses leading the Israelites through the sea, and then the river. Over and over this moment, this choice, is heralded through scripture.
Today, Christians around the world Celebrate the Passion of Christ- the Holy Sacrifice of the Unblemished Lamb of God. Today we remember that it is His flesh which, just like the flesh of the animal sacrifices of the Jews, sanctifies us. Today we remember that His Blood, instead of being painted over our sins like the sacrificial ceremonies of the Jews, instead is drunk- becoming a wellspring of life within us. Today we mourn, even as we celebrate, that our Savior had to suffer such agonies, and that we were not- and are not- worthy of his loving sacrifice.
On Sunday- called Easter- we will celebrate his resurrection. We will celebrate the New Life he gives us. Today, Praise God for His Sacrifice.
God Bless you all this Easter.