Today is Holy Week Saturday and is the interlude between Maundy Thursday, where we commemorated Jesus giving to us the sacrament of Holy Eucharist (His Body and His Blood), Good Friday, where we celebrate our killing an innocent man for our sins and our crimes (oh, yes, He did it by His own free will) and Easter Sunday, where in the Episcopal Church we can say Alleluia again. The children get to hunt painted eggs all over the place and eat sugar until they are ready to implode and explode from it. It is a grand and glorious day of celebration as it should be. But are we missing it?
In the news today was a story from Zimbabwe of a prostitute who died while performing her appointed tasks in a hotel room with a stranger. She just up and died. Of course the client notified the authorities who sent out paramedics to collect the body and find out what happened. They came and they put the woman’s body into a coffin for the purpose of carrying her out and off to her final resting place, God rest her soul. After putting her into the coffin the prostitute leaps up and out of the coffin screaming “You are trying to kill me!” I bet at that moment a lot of pants needed to be changed as the air turned foul. The woman probably wasn’t the only one screaming by now.
Why tell this story on a Holy Week day? The woman did not want in the coffin, did not want them to “kill her .” Let me out of here, as in now. Jesus wanted to die, He wanted to be buried, He wanted to stay in the grave long enough that there would be no doubt that He was dead, buried and gone. I will ask the question here for us to consider: “When did Jesus know He came to die for you and me?” when He was an infant looking up at the ceiling of a dirty, stinking stable, when He had His coming of age ritual, as He worked in His father’s carpentry shop, or was it when John baptized Him in the river Jordan and the Holy Spirit fell on Him with the very voice of God Almighty pronouncing “This is My Son.” We know Jesus knew but I don’t know that scriptures tell us when He learned it. When did you learn that there is no Santa Claus, no Easter bunny, no tooth fairy? Now, when did you learn that Jesus, God’s only son, came to live and die for you? Would you please, right now, right where you are reading this blog, say out loud when you learned Jesus is your savior, that He died for you. Let me be a bit more specific, when did you accept that fact, name the time and place, the events surrounding it. Okay, some of you will same I have always known it, accepted it, believed it. But when did you acknowledge it to yourself, consciously. So go ahead and say it, aloud, right now, right where you are and know that He already knows not only where and when and why but that He knows exactly how many hairs were on top of your head both back then and right now. Happy Easter. He is Risen, Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!