Here is one of those emails that goes around every once in awhile, that is, I think, appropriate for this Holy Saturday. It makes me think about Jesus, but also about myself. While I have not said what the people in this story do, I have thought it-- not a very welcoming thought towards a stranger, is it?
One day, a man went to visit a church. He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, 'I always park there! You took my place!' The visitor went inside for Sunday school, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, 'That's my seat! You took my place!' The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.
After Sunday school, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, 'That's where I always sit! You took my place!' The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still he said nothing.
Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change.
Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, 'What happened to you?'
As his hat became a crown of thorns and a tear fell from his eye, the visitor replied,
"I took your place."
This is something to remember every day-- Jesus took our place. He took my place and he took your place. He paid a debt we could never, ever pay on our own. And he did something most of us could never do-- he suffered for us. It's hard enough to suffer for ourselves, let alone someone else. Let us take some time this Holy Saturday and say "Thank You, Jesus!"
May you have a blessed Holy Saturday.