Today we CELEBRATE! We celebrate God who became man and, for a while, lived among His people. A man who laughed with them and wept for them. He’s a God who went to parties and changed water to wine. He loved fiercely. God in the flesh fought for the poor and marginalized. He rescued those in despair and gave them hope! This God, Jesus, fought injustice at every turn. Jesus loved all of the wrong people and spent time with those who didn’t seem to be quite good enough according to the other religious leaders of the day.
This Jesus we celebrate today was like no other. He gave people hope. He encouraged change. He didn’t deny someone the rights to His kingdom because of where they were born or what color their skin was. He stood up for women and children. He touched people who were looked upon as dirty, unclean. And when people touched him? They were healed.
Jesus came to earth for one purpose; to reconcile a relationship between us and God. That relationship had been kind of broken. Sin got in the way of that pure, perfect relationship in the garden, and Jesus came to restore it. To restore us. To restore me.
Man, people loved Him. And they hated Him. But he really just had one mission. To give up His life for mine. To die so that I could live. To pay one price for everyone. And so He did. His friends didn’t get it at first. They didn’t understand in the moment. But, then they got it. In the end, they got it and they lived to tell the story. His story. My story. The story of His death on that ugly cross that dark day. The story of crooked soldiers casting lots for His clothes. The stories of the taunts and the jeers and the freeing of a murderer. So many stories within the story.
But the best came on Sunday. The very best part of the story is what we celebrate. He was dead, and now he’s alive. He was buried, but the stone was rolled away. Because He won the victory over death and darkness, I can live. I can be free. His death, burial, and resurrection was for everyone. The price has been paid. For me. Sweet victory. This is why I celebrate.