Easter upon us.  Our Savior has defeated death for our sins.  But this joyous occasion brings questions to my mind and I sometimes wonder, is it okay to ask these questions?

There were many players in the death of Jesus, and many people played a role in His death including us.

So as Judas betrayed Jesus, what was he thinking?  Were those few coins worth it to him?

As Peter heard that rooster crow for the third time, what was he thinking?  Was he ashamed?  Was he scared?  Was he shocked as he denied the man he walked along side for so long?

As the guards mocked Jesus what were they thinking?  Was there one among them who was ashamed of what they were doing?  Was there one “ring leader” so to speak or were they all equally participating willingly in this mockery?

As Jesus stood before Pilate and Herod what were they thinking?  Were they happy to see this King?  Were they afraid Jesus would take their place of “power”?

The people who were shouting “crucify Him”…what were they thinking?  To me they represent every jury in the world today.  Pilate says in Luke 23:14-17 “…and you brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion.  I have examined him in your presence and found no basis for your charges…neither has Herod…as you can see, he has done NOTHING TO DESERVE DEATH.  Therefore, I will punish him and release him.”  So, he has done nothing wrong, yet the crowd had already judged him, and imposed his death sentence.

After Jesus had been beaten, mocked, and made to carry a cross, the guards came across Simon of Cyrene and made him carry Jesus’ cross.  What was this man thinking?  Was he sorry for Jesus?  Was he angry with Jesus for having to carry his cross?  Was his hoping he would not be crucified too?

And Mary Magdalene.  What was she thinking?    Here her friend, probably the only man to show her honest love, compassion, was placed on a cross.  I can only imagine the pain in her heart.  How sick in her stomach she must have felt.  I can’t even imagine she could see Jesus – how her eyes had to have been overfilled with tears, sadness…which leads to Mary, Jesus’ mother.  I cannot BEGIN to imagine her feelings on this day.  From the day she knew she had been chosen to carry the Son of God she had to have been both dreading and rejoicing this day.  I know rejoicing is a weird word to chose here, but I know when my daughter was very ill when she was three, I was dreading the day she had her bone marrow aspiration, yet knowing the answer (yes she had cancer) was a relief.  I no longer had to question what was wrong, but I could know the end of a long journey was now upon us.  (I am in NO WAY comparing myself to Mary, just trying to illustrate why I chose the word rejoice).  How Mary could follow her son on the walk to the cross, stand and watch the nails pierce His wrists, His feet, see the mockery of the crown of thorns upon His head, see the soldiers pierce His side, give Him vinegar to drink, the blood on His body.  I can not fathom the pain, the anguish, how she could even stand, walk, move on this day.  I even think about her pain and as a mother myself, I am overcome with sorrow for Mary.  I am devastated to even try to begin to think about her pain.  And after Jesus died and was removed from the cross, and she could hold her beloved, perfect son who died for so many, I want to weep for her pain.  I want to hold her hands, get on my knees in her presence and explain to her how incredibly sorry I am for all my sins and for every ounce of pain I caused her and wipe away her tears.

Lastly, what was God thinking on the day his Son died?  God knew how Jesus’ life would begin and end even before He walked the face of the earth.  So..

-when Jesus was in the garden praying to His Father

-when God saw His Son being beat

-when God saw His Son being mocked

-when God saw His Son given a crown of thorns

-when God saw His Son carrying a cross

-when God saw another carrying His Son’s cross

-when God saw His Son being nailed to the cross

-when God heard His Son say “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)

-when God saw the soldiers casting lots for His Son’s clothes

-when God saw the soldiers give His Son wine vinegar

-when God saw the soldiers write “King of the Jews” and place it above Jesus’ head

-when God heard the criminal mock Jesus

-when God heard Jesus cry out “Father into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46)

I cannot fathom what He was thinking or how He was feeling.  I almost cannot breath when I think of all God gave, all God did, HIS ONLY SON.  Not just the sins of ONE person, the sins of EVERY person on the face of this earth.  How excrutiating this must have been for God.  And then, for what I guess is the first time, God held His Son.  I know I’ve been without my own child now for about 100 days.  God was without Jesus for what 36 years?  He held him for 3 days and then gave Him back to rise again?  I guess that’s why God is AWESOME.  If I ever see my daughter again, I don’t know if I would have the strength to give her up after three days.  But God did….He sent His Son back to US to show us His everlasting, amazing, grace.  I cannot believe God did this for us.

When I think of Easter, one of the last things I think about is Mary Magdelene again.  Can you imagine going to the grave of the one you love and finding it empty?  Only to turn around and see HIM!  I know this Easter has a whole knew meaning to me.  My heart has changed in ways over the past two years, I know it’s Jesus working in me, and I hope He continues to work in me and THRU me – of course this only happens if I am a willing participant, and you know what, after thinking about all this, I am not turning back.  No way.  I’m all in.  I’m not only following, but I’m running to catch up!

I know I will continue to ask questions, and I know I will continue to wonder what God was thinking at times, and I know God understands, my questions are not because I am questioning what He was doing, it’s because the parent in me cannot fathom giving my child to die for someone elses to live.  Not on purpose anyway.  People die every day and we agree to donate their organs to save a life.  But when I think about what God did.  Well, to me, God gave His ENTIRE being, just so we could have a chance to know Him.  I think if someone loves me this much, I’ll spend my days serving and loving Him back.

And I guess that leaves me with one last question….What are you thinking?