Experiencing the bittersweet tension of Easter

EastertensionThere is an incredible tension between Palm Sunday and Easter.  I’ve wrestled with it more this year than in any previous year.  Here where I get stuck:

In a span of just seven days, we see a complete 180 degree turn of the human heart.  From extreme love and elation - to hateful accusations and a horrific death sentence.  From welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem with tears, shouts of joy and creating a “red carpet” of Palms for his donkey to walk upon - to the betrayal of Jesus into the hands of those who would spit on him, mock him, whip him and hang him on a cross to die a criminal’s death!

How COULD this happen?  How DOES this happen?  What do I learn about GOD…and what do learn about MYSELF through experiencing the seven days in between Palm Sunday and Easter?

Here’s what I’m learning:

Let’s start with God.  We learn that above all “feelings,” God remains steadfast.  We learn that God knows how fragile and fickle the human heart is.  He knows that with one breath we can praise Him…and in the next, we can curse him.   Through it all, He remains steadfast…and His love for us is certain.  Jesus wasn’t swayed by the people’s praise…or by threats, insults, and murder.  He came to fulfill the mission God gave Him…a mission of love…and he finished it no matter how he was treated.  Wow.

     John 2:24-25 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. No one     needed to tell him what mankind is really like.”

Next, here's what I learn about me.  I am fickle and my feelings change from week to week.  I am a different person from one day to the next it seems.

To quote a great band: “But I’m a million different people from one day to the next, I can’t change my mold, no” - the Verve “Bittersweet Symphony”

I am no different than the person who cried “Hosanna” and who a few days later yelled, “Crucify Him.”  I’m no different because when I’m not pushing toward God, I begin to let my feelings, circumstances and a myopic view of the world push me away from Him.

Unchecked feeling have a tendency to dull good perspective.  And when unchecked feelings rule, anything is possible.

This season, I’m delighting in the fact that God is above all my feelings.  His love for me is certain.  It will not change even as my feelings about him change.

I’m also celebrating the fact that what He did for me is immovable.  It isn’t conditional.  God’s grace for me is nothing about what I feel.  God’s grace ALWAYS trumps my feelings.

Lastly, I’m clinging to the tensions of faith.  The tensions that exist in clinging to hope while living in a broken world.  The tension between living with sight and walking by faith.  The tension between pain and promises.  Truly, the tensions between misalignments of Heaven and Earth in real time.

These tensions beg that we continue to walk forward and pursue a kingdom that is coming.  A kingdom that Jesus began ushering in…and now invites us to help bring it’s fulfillment!  These tensions are what keep us from becoming complacent insofar as the work isn’t finished yet!

May God continue to shape our hearts and perspectives this season…and may we never become complacent in our pursuit of Him.

What is God teaching you this season?

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Experience Holy Week 2014 at McLane Church Erie | 1654 W. Gore Rd. Erie, Pa 16509

Tuesday, 4.15 - 7PM : Fasting / Prayer Night

Friday, 4.18 - 7PM : Good Friday Service

Sunday 4.20 - 9AM and 11AM : Easter Celebration

www.mclanechurch.org