The uncommon truth about “Easter”.
The Bible, my favorite book, referred to Jesus as a victorious soldier. Tradition, common culture, and even television depict Him as a quiet, gentle, soft, and victimized lamb. While the Bible does state that He is the Lamb of God, it’s not so that we would think of Him in this way–weak and a victim to being slaughtered. Don’t misunderstand me; He is The Lamb, but He was not weak and He was not a victim.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. (Isaiah 53:12 NLT)
What you might not know and what churches, movies, and television have done for years is made Jesus out to be a weak man or at least not having the appearance of a soldier.
Here are a few things to think about this Easter…
- Jesus was tortured so badly that for Him to live long enough to make it to the cross was unexpected for any man.
- Jesus was beaten to the point that any other human being would have died simply from the loss of blood, let alone the torn muscles and body tissue. By the way, the movie “The Passion of the Christ” does a good depiction of the torture, but it doesn’t even come close to the true picture. It would have been unbearable to watch and amazing to see His strength all at the same time.
- Jesus carried His own cross which would have been impossible for a normal human as the muscles in His shoulders were severed and His spine exposed from the torture methods.
Even still, He was nailed to the cross (Rome’s most extreme method of execution), bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Nonetheless, they pierced Him through the side and punctured His internal organs just to be sure. What an image of a soldier and not a victimized lamb.
…He [Jesus] bowed his head and released his spirit. (John 19:30 NLT)
…they [the soldiers] saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (John 19:33-34 NLT)
I can only imagine that those soldiers were wondering during the torture of Jesus just how much more can He take. If Jesus had not given up His spirit, nothing the Roman soldiers could have done would have killed Him.
No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” (John 10:18 NLT)
He gave His life, don’t be mistaken about it! Unlike a lamb where their lives are taken, He laid His down to be a lamb offered to God on our behalf. He is a victorious soldier!
What does this mean to you and me?
- We don’t have to be ordinary and be a victim of our situations, but like Jesus, we can be victorious. That’s the power of being no-longer-common.
- No one has the power to take anything from us as long as He lives inside us. The only way they can get what we have is if we give it to them. What are you giving away that you don’t want to give?
- When others count us out, it does not mean we’re done or finished. We have the power to resurrect what might appear dead in our lives. We have the power to be no-longer-common.
It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! (Romans 8:11 MSG)