I never got an Easter basket as a kid. But apparently Easter baskets are a big deal. It’s like Christmas in April for some. Search “Easter basket” on Google and you get a smattering of options for gifts to get kids. Want healthy snacks? There’s an option for that. Want to personalize it with your kids’ names? Done. Want to do it yourself? There’s suggestions for that.
I could sit here and write about how commercialized Easter is and how it’s a shame, how it’s meant to be for Jesus! But that’s not the point of what I want to say today.
We want to be given things we don’t deserve. It’s in our human nature. And, usually, we tend to appreciate those things more than things we earn. We get a paycheck and we think nothing of it because we’ve gone into the office, we’ve put in the time, we’ve done the work, and we’ve earned what we’ve gotten.
But when our loved one gets us a gift just ’cause, it means so much more. We didn’t ask for it. We didn’t work to earn it. They just gave it to us because they wanted to, no matter how good or bad we’ve been to them recently. In hindsight, it doesn’t necessarily make sense.
And that’s the beauty of grace. The cross is a symbol of God’s power that makes the unreasonable possible.
It’s not reasonable that we would be given a free gift.
Free gifts are usually things that come as add-ons to something we buy. You know those TV commercials…
But in the case of the cross, the free gift is salvation through Christ, and we didn’t have to buy a year’s subscription of God Illustrated to get it. As Romans 5:15 reminds us, “…For if many died through the one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.”
It’s not reasonable that God would overlook our flaws.
The world makes a habit of bringing your flaws back up. If you search “Brian Williams lies” on YouTube, you’ll get hundreds of results of “lie compilations” and clips of the news anchor lying about different things he’s done and witnessed while reporting on location.
But in the case of the cross, our flaws are not remembered. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1 says. The things we’ve done in the past do not count against our record. There is no depth of sin I can go to that the Father’s love is not deeper than. I can never sink too low for God to not love me.
It’s not reasonable that Jesus would lay down His life for His enemies.
We don’t like our enemies. We would rather see our enemies die than die for them.
Jesus died for us while we were still enemies. There is no greater love than that a man would lay down his life for his friends, right? What’s even greater about Christ’s death is that He called us friends, even though we were enemies, and laid down His life for us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The cross is unreasonable because it is the symbol of unreasonable actions by a God who doesn’t operate by human reason. Its unreasonableness is its greatest attribute, because by it we get what is not supposed to be ours.
That’s the greatness of the Easter cross.