I had options but I elected to stay at home and worship with my daughter and with the use of youtube videos.
After my daughter went down for a nap, I sat down and searched for some of my favorite Easter hymns – Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Up From the Grave He Arose etc and had the strangest problem:
As soon as I started watching videos of these wonderful songs, the tears welled up and I started choking and my voice cracked up whenever I tried to sing along.
This has never happened to me before with such potency so I stopped to work out why I was crying.
The answer? A mixture of grief and joy.
I don’t have to explain the joy of Easter day, it’s obvious. Jesus has overcome, he’s alive for ever more. Death has lost it’s sting and we are now children of the promise, heirs of the kingdom of God. Easter day is quite possibly the most wonderful day of the year for all Christians.
But why was I grieving?
It may seem strange for me to grieve on such a joyful day. The day of grieving, if there is one, should surely be ‘good’ Friday. But my grief was not for Jesus or what we did to him but rather for my reaction to what he did for me and what I’m continuing to do to him.
The character Azeem from Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves came to mind. Azeem, played by Morgan Freeman is a Moor, an enemy of the English, yet Robin Hood frees him from jail, thus saving his life.
What is Azeem’s reaction?
Instead of thanking his savior and disappearing into the night, he vows to stay with Robin, following him wherever he may go, until his debt is repaid by saving Robin’s life.
He just dropped everything and went with him, wherever the path took him he went there, never pausing to raise a family or go to work to earn money for food and shelter for his loved ones, he just followed.
Why? because he knew that there is no greater gift than the gift of life and there is no way to repay it except to reciprocate.
As I thought about what Azeem did, the example he showed, I realized that I was grieving because I have been in the same position as Azeem and have not been faithful in repaying the debt.
You see, I was saved once too. I was heading for absolutely certain death and my Savior stepped in and gave me the gift of life.
My savior’s name is Jesus – and I have done little to repay him apart from pay lip-service to his greatness.
There is, of course, no way that I can ever fully repay the gift. I cannot save him from death, but that should not stop me from doing as Azeem did and giving every moment of my life to work toward repaying it.
It’s almost like I know I can’t ever repay it so I don’t even bother trying.
In many ways, I’m like one of the nine lepers who got healed by Jesus but didn’t come back to thank him.
That’s not how I want to be. I want to be like Azeem. I no longer wish to grieve over my apathy but rather to truly give my life to my savior.
How about you? Does your life reflect the incalculable value of the gift you have been given?
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”