You can tell Easter's coming.
All those Jesus shows are popping up on TV. One channel has "Finding Jesus." Another, "Killing Jesus." Soon, all the classic Jesus movies. And the makers of the much-watched series, "The Bible," come this Easter season with "A.D.," the sequel.
The night "The Bible" showed the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus, social media lit up with shocked viewers saying, "I had no idea what Jesus went through!"
The brutalizing of Jesus was so violent that Hollywood had to make "The Passion of the Christ" R-rated. But for all the realism and effects Hollywood has brought to its portrayal of Jesus' death, there's something very important they haven't shown.
Because they can't.
It revolves around that heart-wrenching moment before Jesus breathes His last. When He cries, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?"
Because that was the decisive moment in Jesus' eternal mission.
The moment when God the Father abandoned the One the Bible calls "His one and only Son." Rending that holy Relationship that had never been broken throughout all the ages of eternity.
Until that horrific, holy moment when my sin forced God to turn His back on His Son.
So He wouldn't have to turn His back on me. The rebel. The hijacker of the throne made for Him in my soul. The one who pushed the God of 100 billion galaxies to the margins of the life He gave me.
If I harbored any illusions that I could ever get into God's heaven by doing good, that illusion dies at the foot of Jesus' cross. That's where the price of human sin is spelled out in blood.
"The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23) - death as in forever being cut off from a holy God. The source of everything good. It could only be paid for by me, the sinner who earned those wages.
Or, unthinkably, be paid by a sinless Substitute.
Who, in that unfathomable moment of unspeakable soul agony, was going to my hell. Taking on Himself all the eternal torment of a world of sinners. It's a love I can't comprehend. That I can't resist.
Those much-traveled Bible words well up this Easter like a million-voice choir in my soul: "God loved the world" - God loved me - "so much that He gave His one and only Son that whoever" (even me) - "believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
I can go to His heaven because He took my hell.
It was an awful Friday. But, oh, such a Good Friday.