Easter: Story Reflects Four Amazing Decisions

Post a Comment » Written on April 10th, 2006     
Filed under: News
WAUSA, NE (April 10, 2006) – Editor’s note: In preparation for Easter, Covenant Communications is sharing devotionals that originally appeared in local Covenant church newsletters and are being published here by permission. The following comes from pastor Randy Rodenborg of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Wausa.

By Randy Rodenborg

There are four amazing decisions in the Easter story.

The first amazing decision is how Jesus chose to take part in God’s plan. The scriptures give us this account of Jesus’ decision: “He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. ‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.’ ” (Mark 14:35-36, NLT)

Another amazing decision Jesus makes is not to retaliate when he is questioned and tortured. One account tells how Jesus did not react when falsely accused while standing before Pontius Pilate. Instead, he chose to remain silent. “Then the leading priests accused him of many crimes and Pilate asked him, ‘Aren’t you going to say something? What about all these charges against you?’ But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.” (Mark 15:3-5, NLT)

Pilate’s amazement is not simply because Jesus remains silent, but that he does so with presence and dignity. Jesus could have defended himself, but chose not to. While responding that way seems silly to those of us who want to escape discomfort, Jesus was fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah 53:7: “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.” (NLT)

The decision is logical when we remember that Jesus came to die for our sins. It makes sense that he does not want to get in the way by defending himself. This decision makes sense when we remember that Jesus had already decided to do it God’s way when he prayed in the garden.

The most amazing decision Jesus makes is to forgive the men crucifying him as they do it. “Finally, they came to a place called The Skull. All three were crucified there – Jesus on the center cross, and the two criminals on either side. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive these people because they don’t know what they are doing.’ And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.” (Luke 23:33-34, NLT)

The last amazing decision about the gospel story has yet to be made. This is your decision to accept Jesus’ death on the cross for yourself. “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.” (Romans 10:9-11, NLT).

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