22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. (Mark 15:22-26)
33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). (Mark 15:33-34)
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:37-38)
In olden days, the people relied on sacrifices to please God and gain His forgiveness, speaking to Him through priests. There was no oneness with God. There was no personal relationship for an overwhelmingly large part of the population. There were those chosen to hear Him, people like Moses and the prophet Elijah, but there was a vast gap between God and His people.
This wasn’t how God had intended his relationship with us to be. He intended to walk with us in the garden, to talk with us as we talk to a dear friend, a loving father. But we ruined that with the first sin committed by Adam and Eve. They brought darkness upon the earth and into our hearts, and they ripped us away from our Creator, our Father. We became ashamed, frightened, lost. Evil was brought into the world and we suffered disease, famine, toils. We began committing horrendous acts against one another, against our children. There was no hope for us.
There was no hope for us, that is, until Jesus Christ. Our God, our MIGHTY and POWERFUL God, the Creator of all that is, and was, and will be, stepped down from His throne to take on the form of you and I, to become a human. He stepped down from everything that is good and glorious and holy and walked into this world to live in filth and hate. He was born, just like you and I, and lived a perfect life, preaching the good news. Jesus Christ was the Son of God, perfect living amongst sinners. How it must have pained Him to watch our hate, our evil, our sin committed over and over. Like a parent watching their children destroy themselves, He agonized over us. Then, one day, for absolutely no just reason at all, He died for us. He was beaten. He was mocked. He was scorned. He bore it all silently before being nailed to a tree. NAILED. Spikes driven through His wrists and feet. Spears thrown at His side. Being yelled at and spit at. And then He died. He let out a yell, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”, or, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”. And then He died.
But my friends, that was not the end of the story. That was not the final chapter. There was more. He rose three days later. He was the final sacrifice, sent by God to die for YOU. For ME. For all of us. God loved us with such a depth beyond our understanding that He sent His son to be born and die for sinners who very rarely show any gratitude and too often show how we did not deserve this favor. But He loved us unconditionally. Jesus bore the weight of our sin. He died and became disconnected with God, what was meant to be OUR fate, and rose again to join Him in heaven and create a bridge between the gap between God and His people. He opened the door and said I am here for you. All I have is yours. You just have to come in.
Oh, what greater news could there ever be. Praise you, Lord. And endless thanks to our Savior, Jesus Christ, for dying for me.
Happy Easter, friends. You are unconditionally and radically loved.
For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated carrot
1 (8oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
3 1/2 tbsp flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
For the buttermilk glaze:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
For the cream cheese frosting:
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
11 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350˚and line 3 (9 in.) round cake pans with wax paper. Lightly grease and flour wax paper and sides and set aside.
- Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat eggs and the next 4 ingredients at medium speed until smooth. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until blended. Fold in the carrot and the next 3 ingredients and pour the batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
- Drizzle the buttermilk glaze evenly over the layers and cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
- For the buttermilk glaze: Bring the first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- For the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and desired consistency is reached.
- Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides. Decorate with carrot peels and/or pecans and enjoy!
Source: Family friend