Everlasting Redemption

by Joanie Butman

The glory of Easter Sunday doesn’t need to be ushered in with words. Christ’s actions speak for themselves. They are the purest, most powerful expression of sacrificial love the world has ever seen. In my experience people don’t need to be reminded of it, they need to experience it – every day of their lives lest we forget or discount the cost paid for our ransom. Last weekend a speaker shared a quote from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” that encapsulates the miracle of Easter. Though we deserve to be condemned into everlasting damnation, in a parody of words, Shakespeare’s Dogberry notes, “You are condemned into everlasting redemption.”  What’s even better is that “the same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives in us!” No wonder people are singing the Hallelujah Chorus this morning. It might be a wise choice to begin every morning with that sentiment playing in our souls and on our lips.

While searching for some old photos this week, I came across a Crayola pictorial of Christ’s passion as depicted by 6-yr-old Joanie. I don’t claim to be an exceptionally gifted child, but I think I was able to experience Christ’s passion in a much purer sense before my intellect and ego got involved. As I looked through the pages, brittle with age, I noticed a couple of things: 

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1.    The women were wearing very short skirts and carried purses. (What the heck? Did the devil really where Prada?)

2.    Nature itself was crying out just as Jesus claimed it would in Luke 19:40  “…if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” In my version, it was the sun and the flowers. 

3.    Throughout the story there is a yellow arrow pointing to Heaven. (Holy Spirit?)

4.    The tears of the women at the cross were drawn in pencil.

I may be giving myself too much credit to think that perhaps that little girl intentionally drew the tears in pencil because she knew they were temporary and would be erased three days later. Or, maybe in her innocence, she was able to grasp a truth many adults grapple with – namely, that one day “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev 21:4).

My prayer this Easter Sunday is that I never lose the innocent faith of that little girl, and that I choose to receive the kingdom of God like a little child as Jesus commands.  “’Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:15-16. May we all choose to be children at heart. Happy Easter!

I will leave you with something to think about the next time the weight of your cross seems too difficult to bear: