“And there is Jesus.”
When it comes to preparing for Easter this is a statement that helps. It seems like an add-on though; like the end of a long list of things that are semi-important in this world. But I see it as the beginning of a conversation about the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Messiah, the Lamb of God and our suffering servant-king.
The following is an excerpt from a blog by a woman named Ann Voskamp that captures the essence of Jesus, Lent and Easter…
“And there is Jesus.”
Jesus with a crown of thorns. Jesus bent low, God carrying my rotting mess, Grace doing what I cannot do, and I cannot ascend to God but He will descend to me.
Jesus will have to do everything.
He will have to accomplish it all. I am ashes and I am dust and there is no good in me and I am in dire need and lent has given me clear eyes to see my sin and I am the one broken under all this skin.
I can feel the grain of the tree under my fingertips.
He is the one going to Calvary.
I love Him because His love is the only thing that can save me. This wrestle has made me know it full well.
A failing lent? It is a good Lent because this Lenten Lament of my sin — it is preparing me for the Easter Joy of my Savior.
Lent gives me this gift: the deeper I know the pit of my sin, the deeper I’ll drink from the draughts of joy.
Grief is what cultivates the soil for the seeds of joy.
She who knows her sins much, loves much, and the road to heaven is paved with the realization that I deserve hell. His rising will be all my joy, because I know it in the marrow of the bones: He is all my hope.
I really appreciate the picture she paints here. Yes, the journey to the cross is a somber reminder that sin (mine, yours, all of humanity) put Jesus on that cross. It is tough to get our minds around that. One could easily drown in the darkness of that thought. We could lose hope. BUT, in a twist of irony, the cross actually provides hope and removes the darkness. It was there that evil, hopelessness, sin and guilt were defeated. “Where O death is your victory, where O death is your sting?” “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” These words remind us of the victory won at the cross and the coming celebration from an empty tomb.
And there is Jesus.