Ever since I can remember I have enjoyed acting. As a child I was thrilled to be picked for "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth". I was one of the lucky ones whose teeth were int he right stage of development to be part of the song. Still, I am sure I was out to prove that it was on my abilities alone that I was chosen for the part. In middle school I was Helga the Spy in "Suitable for Hanging" with a memorable dive over the couch during dress rehearsal and getting whacked on the head by the green room door while trying to exit to my scene. As a teenager I was part of a youth group drama team that performed short one scene vignettes to other churches.
This past week I have been privileged to act in a production of an original play titled "The Passover Lamb", written by and directed by members of our pastor's family. It is a true to Scripture account of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was excited to be part of telling this deep and meaningful story, I had no idea at the time I signed up, just what it was going to mean to me.
At the beginning of the production I had a small part as a vendor, selling goods to those who were preparing for Passover. A few minutes in I am stolen from and the two men who steal from me end up crucified on either side of the cross that holds Jesus. Further into the play I played part of the crowd who began murmuring against Jesus and calling for His death. As I stood there, yelling "He's a liar!", "He's not OUR Messiah!" and "Crucify Him!" I was stunned at the realization that it really was my sins that condemned Him to a horrible death. It was my disbelief that caused Him to prove His love to me.
Ray was part of the makeup team and was asked to help with applying the "bruising" for the beating scene. I came in to help. While sitting on the floor, applying life like bruises to the feet of the actor, I was overcome by emotion with the realization that it was my transgressions that caused those bruises on Our Lord and Saviour. Isaiah 53:5 NKJV says " 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. "
Thankfully, that is not where this story ends, it is only the beginning. Towards the end of the program, there is triumph when the angels roll the stone from the tomb and Jesus emerges victorious over death! The scenes are beautiful as He reunites with the disciples. As this story ends, a small child's voice is heard shouting "Look! Its JESUS!" and we run towards Him, He greets or embraces each one who comes to Him.
On this day, Resurrection Sunday, I am reminded of the enormous sacrifice Jesus Christ was willing to make for me in order that I can someday be greeted by His embrace. My confidence is even stronger now that He completely loves me no matter what I've done, how far I have ever fallen away or at times walked away and denied who He is, Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV) applies to me when it says"38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
What truth do you need to be reminded of on this day? What is standing between you and your intimacy with truly making Jesus you Lord? Do you know the amazing sacrifice Jesus made "even while we were yet sinners"?