History weighs itself well on important marking days. Many hold up July 4, 1776 as a watershed day in history, rightfully so. Others point to D Day, which ended World War Two. The Christian church is right also to point out a most key day of Easter Sunday.
However, on this Thursday, March 24, 2016, allow us to offer up what we believe was truly the most landmark day since creation.
It happened this day. Not on a cross at Calvary, but rather in a garden, a critical decision was required. One-God man would decide his fate and the fate of creation from the beginning of time backwards up and until our current age.
From a 2016 vantage point, we assume the decision was pre-chosen. I personally do not believe it was. The power was always in the God nature of Christ to resurrect from the grave. The choice of whether to give himself over to humanity for crucifixion hung in the balance this night.
This was the day when Christ chose us over himself. This day was the day the Son of God modeled something our generation could better understand, obedience to the authority of love.
His final prayer, before being taken for execution, can be read below.
After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said,“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
6 “I have revealed you[a] to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. 11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name;[b] now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me.[c] I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
Jesus would be dead on Friday, less than 24 hours later. On Sunday he would rise to become not only savior, but, also, a loving and righteous Lord of all peoples.
Happy Easter, celebrating the freest of all Freedoms…
Freedom from the debt of sin and shame.