Picture this: At the crack of dawn on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene comes bursting into the room where the Twelve (well, Eleven) are somberly standing and waiting for something to happen. They have no idea what to do next: their friend, teacher, and Father is dead. With these thoughts weighing on their minds, it comes as quite a shock (that might be an understatement) when Mary Magdalene announces that the tomb…. is empty.
Peter and John take off running, not yet daring to hope but knowing that something bigger than death is going on. When they arrive, the shroud is folded neatly to the side, away from the other burial cloths. And Jesus?
He’s nowhere to be found.
What is it about the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus that’s so amazing?
Think about it: Jesus defied the laws of nature and rose from the dead, which is amazing, but it had been done before. Jesus called Lazarus back to life, and he had been dead for four days. Rising from the dead wasn’t a unique feat for Jesus.
Jesus took away the sins of the world, which is beyond amazing, but can we expect less from the God who loves us endlessly and infinitely? Surely this is not what so grasps our attention.
What makes the events of the past few days so amazing is simple: Jesus is only human. Yes, his humanity was perfectly unified with his divine nature, but it was a human body that was tormented on the cross. It was a human body that was laid in the tomb. It was a human body that took the sins of the world onto its shoulders, and it was a human body that rose from the dead.
At any point in time, God could have banished death and removed the punishment of our sin. In fact, at any given moment he could annihilate evil completely, but he allows it to endure so that we can always choose to love him instead of following because there’s no other option.
He didn’t snap his fingers and destroy sin, though. Instead, he conquered it by becoming the very thing that was a slave to sin- a human. That’s what makes the destruction of sin by his death and Resurrection so amazing- not that it happened, but that it happened through the love of a human. God loves us so much that he was willing to forsake the infinite power of his divinity and limit himself to the capacity of a finite human.
So here’s why the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus are so amazing: it was all the work of a human. A human saved us from sin, and now mere humanity is accounted worthy to participate in the Trinity.
But even more than that, what amazes us is that, like Jesus, we are only human, too.
By Mary Woodard