This year Easter was a blur. I always hope for more time to really sit and ponder; a time where the reality of Easter has a chance to stir my heart and remind me of God’s faithfulness. But, alas, life is busy and the whirlwind of this weekend is now over for another year.
I did have time to reflect during church on Sunday, where in our Easter service we heard stories of God’s powerful touch over various lives and impossible situations. The excitement and celebration were palpable as each testimony ended in applause at the words ‘because of Jesus I’m alive again!’ What a promise!
A few years ago, when I was homeschooling my kids (for a brief season, but its a long story….), we worked on a Holy Week calendar. Each day they would add a new craft element to their calendar to depict the events that took place leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. I truly wanted them to understand the events leading up to Christ’s death, the historical context of this event and the meaning in it for them, as individuals. They were young, yes, but I wanted to capture in their hearts the idea of Christ dying for them, their individual sin. This concept reaches into the depths of my heart now, but I’m not sure it did as a child. I hoped, and still do hope, that it will be a bit different for my kids.
As a child, I would have to say that Christmas was a favorite holiday. I enjoyed the anticipation and build-up of excitement. I enjoyed knowing there would be a tree, decorations, gifts and lots of time off school to play outside in the snow. Easter was a close second, though, with all that chocolate and a visit from the Easter bunny. As a child, I attended church every Sunday and more than knew the stories of these Christian traditions and holidays, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I really felt the importance and poignancy in a real way.
So, what does Easter mean to me? Why is there such tremendous emphasis behind its significance in the Christian tradition? It means that I have been saved from a life of aimless, lonely wandering. It means that no matter what horrible, self serving, filthy sin I have, I am still promised a life of fellowship with God in Heaven. It means that when I die I have full assurance of a Heavenly home, that I will see my loved ones again and that I’ll find fulfillment such as I never have had here on earth. It means that God’s love is so much wider and deeper than I really even know. It means that the God of heaven and the God we see throughout scripture is a real, live God who loves us all deeply. He is a God who seeks relationship with me and wants me to continuously reveal my heart to Him.
And while the promise of a new savior born in a manger is a powerful reminder of God’s plan unfolding, the more treasured event, for me, is the one where His plan culminated in a brutal ending just the way He said it would. When His plan to rescue humanity came together as arguably the most significant event in human history … and all because of His immense love for each one of us. I pray that each of you reading these words will be reminded of God’s great love and sacrifice for you; this may be especially meaningful at Easter, but it is true throughout each day of the year! Because of Jesus we have life!
“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)