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Resurrection Sunday, Easter, is a celebration of God’s extravagant love.
Genuine personal love, like none this world had ever experienced, marked the beginning, the middle, and the end of Jesus’ public ministry. At the beginning, Jesus attended a wedding, an embarrassing event where the host ran out of wine. Without a showy display, Jesus changed water into wine, not several decanters, but an extravagant 75-115 liters. From that time on, Judea, Galilee, and surrounding areas were about to experience unparalleled displays of love, grace, and mercy.
Throughout three years Jesus continued portraying the Heavenly Father with exact measure. The writer of Hebrews described Jesus as “the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being" (1:3). Jesus gave in the same way the Heavenly Father gives—over abundantly.
Jesus freely gave over-the-top care to the needy: withered limbs re-muscled; fishermen's nets overflowed; thousands ate from heaven's bread basket; massive waves and atmospheric elements obeyed his voice and ceased their violent nature — because extravagant God trod the earth in the person of Jesus Christ.
Nature’s obstacles weren't the only places Jesus mirrored the Holy God of heaven. He also crossed social and racial barriers. He esteemed women, often looked upon as mere property. Jesus conversed with a Samaritan woman, and her village hosted Jesus and his disciples for several days. He touched a woman, who was “unclean" because of illness. The outcasts of society, the unwanted, and the shunned ate at the same table with the Master of reconciliation.
As Jesus' last days drew near, in yet another loving kindness, he caused life to return to dead Lazarus, and a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. In attendance, Mary sensed the Master would soon depart this earth and what the exit would cost him. Through a reverent gift she expressed her love.
She poured about two cups of very expensive nard, worth a year’s wages, on Jesus’ feet. The scent permeated the air as she rubbed the rich emollients into his skin, and wiped the excess off with her hair. She had learned over-the-top giving from her superior Teacher.
A few dinners later, Jesus washed his disciples’ dust laden feet, and he called them to carry on his generous mission and calling them to love each other. Within hours, heaven’s mountainous mercy continued at the cross and the tomb where Jesus took on the sins of the world. There, he received undeserved punishment and his death became our rescue. Three days later, Jesus’ body was resurrected.
We resurrect and rekindle Jesus’ loving kindness each time we allow his generosity to flow through the beginning, middle and end of our walk with him.
Happy Resurrection Sunday.