This year, I attended my first Maundy Thursday service. It was a dark, heart-breaking service that really opens a Christian’s eyes to the pain and suffering that our Lord & Savior endured for us.
As we walked into the auditorium of Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, we were handed a blank red piece of paper and encouraged to write our re-occruing sins or fears on the paper throughout the service. Towards the end of the hour, our cards were collected. Four men then pierced our sins with the same nail that was hammered into the cross so many years ago and nailed the stacks to the four corners of the life-size wooden cross that was originally lying on the stage illuminated in red. As the cross was risen, our hearts wrenched at the sound of the nails hammering into the magnificent, symbolic structure.
Fast forward to the glorious Easter Sunday service at Macedonia Baptist Church. A much smaller, more intimate service allowed it’s members to adorn the Easter cross with flowers. As the alter filled with colorful blooms, the irony of the two crosses really hit me. Though our sins were nailed to the cross in the most gruesome and painful suffering, the beauty of the event endured when Jesus rose from the dead three days later. It is the ultimate sacrifice that reminds us that through pain and suffering, beauty always preservers in the name of the Lord.
Happy Easter! He is Risen!