THE BAD, THE UGLY, AND THE GOOD
Traude Ellert- 2016
Luke 24:46-47 “He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
There’s an old movie called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In the case of the Resurrection, it could be called The Bad, the Ugly and the Good. In some ways, it’s very easy to talk about the Good part of the Resurrection. Jesus comes back to life. That’s what the Resurrection is- good news- Jesus coming back to life.
But, the difficult, important, and almost unbearable parts of the story, for me, are the parts before the Resurrection - the bad and ugly parts. Before becoming a believer, I watched Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ” and I wept from the beginning to the end of the movie. I went right through a box of tissues! For the first time, I realized that how Christ had suffered at the cross. I just hadn’t known.
Easter was about coloring eggs, chocolates, bunnies and a bearded man, clothed in white standing in the clouds with his hands outstretched. When I read Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Easter” I could hardly get through the pages of the graphic brutality that Jesus suffered, such as the torture BEFORE he even got to the cross, by Roman floggers who used whips of braided leather thongs with metal balls woven into them to rip apart men’s backs. Then, there were the nails through the wrist, where the median nerve runs. Etc., etc., etc. “The pain was absolutely unbearable. It was excruciating.
Crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly, slow, death by asphyxiation.” The physical torture was bad enough, but why Jesus was crucified was just as bad and just as ugly. It showed the true, ugly nature of some people. Those two parts showed man’s inhumanity toward man....and indifference toward God. Jesus Christ’s Resurrection changed and continues to change EVERYTHING! It is the Good part of this story.
It changed EVERYTHING for me. I realized that Christ died for me. He went through the bad and the ugly for me. He suffered for my sins. I was dead. And I didn’t even know it. I didn’t know it until I received Christ into my life and that’s when my life changed and I became alive. Paraphrasing a story from CS Lewis, he said that without Christ: “it’s like looking at life through muddy glasses”. With Christ you see things clearly and beautifully and with joy. (Those are my words, not CS Lewis’s). Jesus Christ’s Resurrection has changed and continues to change EVERYTHING.