Just as suspected, the spring weather turned into winter weather again on and Tuesday morning, we found over an inch of snow on the ground. Today it is warm[er] and the snow is melting…bringing the mud. My favorite. [Read: NOT my favorite.]
But the snow proved an apt reminder of the grueling winter, and why I can appreciate the spring, mud and all.
More than just a changing thermometer
It happens to be Holy Week, and I’m thinking about how Good Friday is a lot like Spring. Muddy. Ugly. Gross. Depressing. But until we understand the weariness and complete deadness of winter—of our sinful, dead souls—we cannot fully appreciate the horrendous yet amazingly wonderful cross of Jesus Christ.
He was killed by one of the most brutal and grotesque means of execution—crucifixion. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, if I described it in detail here, it would probably make you sick. (If you’re curious, peruse this description by an M.D.)
But what happened there that day was the most beautiful and magnificent thing that could have ever happened. Jesus Christ—the only One Who hadn’t even the ability to sin—paid for my sin, for your sin, and for everyone else’s sin in the entire world. Gone, just like that. The punishment for sin was completely absorbed by Jesus Christ Himself.
And that’s not the end of the story. Not long after Jesus died (three days, to be exact), He came back to life, crushing death and Hell forever. Take THAT, sin!
But until you understand winter, the deadness of your own heart that is caused by sin, you cannot understand the beauty of the cross. It’s bloody and gross and painful but when you realize what exactly happened there, you can’t do anything but jump for joy.
You were dead.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Ephesians 2:1-3
Do you get it? Dead. Like, not moving, not breathing, not doing anything, you-ain’t-got-nothin’ DEAD. You were winter. A never ending one. A Narnia, where it’s always winter and never Christmas. That was you. That was your soul.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved! Ephesians 2:4-6
Yeah, Good Friday was gross. It was ugly. It was stomach-churning. But it makes you alive. How, you ask? Easy.
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 with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10
And that’s why there’s more to this winter-spring thing than just some mud. (Phew!)