The reason for the season

crucifixion
Our founder, Deacon John Green, has a wry sense of humor. For many years, he had a bumper sticker on his van that said SIN is the reason for the season, a message that seemed to subtly mock the “Jesus is the reason for the season” pictures and bumper stickers we often see during Christmas time. (No one who knows John will be surprised that he had this bumper sticker.)

And, of course, John wasn’t at all mocking the message that we must keep the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of Jesus Christ—in our minds during Advent and Christmas. He was putting out a reminder that the reason Jesus came into the world was because of our sin. That seems to be an increasingly important reminder for us. Today, we remember the reason why Christmas was necessary in the first place.

Jesus came into the world to die. And not in the sense that all human beings are mortal and must die. No, it was in the sense that the whole point of his life, his mission in life (or his secret ambition, for any Michael W. Smith fans out there), was to be tortured and killed in the most brutal way imaginable. And he did it for the most hateful, ungrateful person imaginable.

That would be me.

And you.

And every single human being who has ever lived.

We human beings are the apple of God’s eye, his beloved creation, the pinnacle of the creation narrative in Genesis. He has loved us from the first moment we existed. And we hated him for it — so much so that we murdered him in cold blood. Today we recall the amazing love of Jesus, who came to us as a human being even though he knew we would kill him for it.

As St. Paul said in Romans 5:6-8, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

So that is what we celebrate today, on Good Friday. We remember the astronomically massive love God has for each and every one of us. We remember the unspeakably cruel death Jesus endured in order to break the power that sin and death had over us. We mourn the immense pain and suffering that our sin caused him.

And we wait expectantly for the triumph of Easter Sunday.

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Emmaus Ministries
4201 N Troy St
Chicago IL 60618

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