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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gross

I Love Jesus, and I Thank Him for Dying for Me

This is Easter week, and we just celebrated Palm Sunday. The week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday was a week of ups and downs for Jesus and His disciples. It started with celebration and people yelling and proclaiming, “Hosanna” in praise of Jesus, and a week later, on Easter, it culminated with celebration and a miracle as Jesus rose from the dead. But the in-between days consisted of Jesus preaching and healing and praying and being betrayed and dying on a cross.

When Jesus is arrested and tried and then tortured and killed, it is hard to read about those things. It’s hard to fathom those things. How could people be so cruel? So evil? How could so many praise Him on Palm Sunday and then want Him crucified the next Sunday?

But even the disciples of Jesus let Him down because they were human and flawed, and I often see myself in Peter’s place. In Matthew chapter 26, it shares the story of the Last Supper and then how the disciples went to the Mount of Olives. Jesus states that the disciples “‘will all fall away on account of me . . .’” (verse 31). In verse 33, Peter responds saying, “‘Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.’” In verse 34, Jesus says, “‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’” The last seven verses of Matthew chapter 26 share how Peter did, in fact, deny Jesus three times.

Verse 75 says, “Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.” Peter realized he had let Jesus down, and he was so disappointed in himself. I see that in myself sometimes. When I say something mean about someone else or lash out in anger, when I could offer to pray with someone and I don’t, when I hear some gossip and listen to it or even worse share it with someone else, when I conduct myself in a way that I know is not pleasing to God . . . I know I am disappointing God, and in actuality, I am denying Him.

I am denying Him the ability to work in my life and the lives of others when I allow sin in my life. But there is good news! I can ask for forgiveness and repent of my sins, and God will forgive them! That’s all because Jesus died on the cross for me and for my sins! That’s pretty amazing! That’s the good news of the gospel, and that’s what Jesus came to Earth to tell us.

This is the happy ending that we all want to hear! Jesus didn’t stay on the cross; He didn’t stay in the tomb! He rose from the dead, and that’s the power of Easter Sunday!

Mark 16:6 says, “‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. . . ‘“

He is risen, indeed!

Enjoy Easter, my friends!



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