During Sunday School a question was asked, “Of all the holidays during the year, what’s your favorite?” This being the third week in March several answered, “Easter”, while Christmas, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July were also in the running. Then the instructor asked if anyone celebrated this coming Thursday; something I hadn’t considered as a ‘holiday’.
As Easter weekend comes around perhaps this Thursday should be celebrated; if not as a holiday then surely it falls into the category of important and significant.
It was on a Thursday that Jesus and a few of his chosen disciples retired to the Garden of Gethsemane where the Lord could finish out his mortal ministry. During those long lonely hours the Lord prayed to his Father and took upon himself the sins of the world, sweating, as it were, drops of blood from every pore.
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. (Alma 7: 11 – 13)
Those who follow the teachings of Jesus desire to one day worship at His feet in the Kingdom of Heaven, having accepted this wondrous gift, the atonement which makes it possible for our sins to be removed since no unclean thing may enter His presence.
An odd thought entered my mind, something from an old country western tune, “Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die, Lord I want to go to heaven; but I don’t want to go tonight….” Yes, they still let me attend Sunday School; but they keep a close eye on me.
How a gift is received is as important as how it was offered. Are we living our lives in accordance with the gospel, avoiding sin where possible and repenting as needed along the way? The Lord has already paid for our sins if we will accept the gift. Or, we can reject His offer and face the music, so to speak; pay the price of sin via the same process which caused even the Lord to sweat great drops of blood.
While this Thursday may not be marked on our calendars as a holiday it most certainly should be acknowledged as one of the more important days in the history of mankind, the day the Lord took upon himself our sins. Perhaps a silent prayer of gratitude is in order.
The Moral Liberal’s Senior Editor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Houston police officer, self-employed locksmith, and gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.