Inspired by Ash Wednesday and 40 days of Lent, I thought I would put up last years Easter post called “The Golden Egg”. Let’s all focus on this time and the events that took place in the life of our Savior as He walked this earth for 40 more days. “Thank you, Jesus!”
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week about what happened close to 2000 years ago. I try to imagine what Jesus was doing and how he was feeling and I start to get very emotional, but that’s nothing new. This is the time when the most amazing man, the son of God, walked the earth and was tortured and crucified on our behalf. He didn’t deserve it, but He knew it was going to happen. I’ve always appreciated Easter but I have never felt so connected to this time as I do now. It’s really amazing how much I have learned over the past week or so about this last week of Jesus’ life between reading the Bible, church, and my kids school. I am so grateful for this holiday and what it means. If it weren’t for my kids, I would probably just shoot peter rabbit and eat him for dinner. Rabbit stew anyone? I’m just kidding….sort of : ) I actually put a lot of effort into fusing the fun stuff for my kids with the most important and historical event of all times. The greatest gift you can give your child at Easter is the understanding of the gift that Jesus gave us all. He gave us the gift of eternal life. Just believe! It’s impossible to open a gift if you won’t recieve it….how rude. Take it, open it, and be grateful.
We are smack dab in the middle of what is known as Holy Week. It starts on Palm Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The crowds gathered greeting Him by waving palm branches and laying them on His path. They knew who He was. They heard about and saw all the amazing miracles performed by Him. They listened to Him preach and teach. They loved Him and praised Him.
Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday. This is the day that Jesus shared a traditional Jewish Passover meal with His disciples. This is what we know as The Last Supper. Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum which means commandment. It refers to the commands that Jesus gave to his disciples that evening to love with humility by serving one another and to remember His sacrifice. Jesus demonstrated this by washing their feet. At the end of this meal Jesus blessed the bread and broke it into pieces, shared it, wanting each one to eat in the remembrance of His body given to us as the final sacrifice. Then praying over the wine they drank it as a token of God’s new covenant to save us through the blood shed by Jesus. This was the first act of communion and is the reason we do this at church. For Christians this truth is the priceless treasure we protect in our hearts.
This is where it really gets heart wrenching for me. As much as I am so grateful for Jesus’ sacrifice, my heart hurts thinking about the torment He went through, both mental and physical. Later that evening after the meal Jesus and His disciples went into the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus went out alone to pray. This was not just any prayer, this was a face in the ground anguished prayer. Jesus asked that this cup (His day of crucifixion) be passed from Him, but not of His will, but the will of His Father. He prayed this prayer three times throughout the night. Jesus was just as much human as He was God. He knew His destiny; He knew what was to come, but also feared it they way we would. But, He did not fight it, knowing this was to fulfil the scriptures of the prophets and the will of His Father. Jesus was betrayed as He said he would be and was taken captive.
It is now Friday, a day we call Good. This is the day that Jesus is crucified. This is the day that Jesus became the Lamb of God and was the human sacrifice for our sins. This is the day that the blood poured out of Jesus’ body and covered our transgressions. This is the day that Jesus died. Good it is because this was in God’s plan to save us; but, in my human, finite mind all I can think about is the pain and suffering this amazing, loving, humble, innocent man and Son of God had to go through. Don’t think that because of who He is He didn’t suffer. He had to endure hours of agonizing pain. I have seen the movie The Passion of Christ and I have never cried so much in my life. If you haven’t seen it, this is a good time to check it out. There were many witnesses to and writings about this historic event with no known contradictions.
Easter Sunday…..Jesus has risen! This is the day Christians celebrate because it is the day of resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, just as foretold and prophesied about in the scriptures. He rose from the dead and revealed himself to His disciples as well as many other witnesses. Many of the people who denied Jesus as being the true son of God, the Messiah, became true believers and dedicated their lives to spreading the Gospel at the high price of martyrdom. Why would they do this if not completely confident in the true identity of Jesus? They saw, they believed, they preached, and they lived by the truth. I don’t need to see with my eyes to believe. I see it with my heart. I have complete confidence in the historicity of the Bible. There is enough scientific, archaeological, and cosmic evidence to back the scriptures. Go look. Faith is not blind. Faith is trusting in God’s word and His word is proven time and again to be true. I also have the validation of internal peace and transformation of the heart as proof.
What an incredible holiday to celebrate. It’s the culmination of our Savior’s life on Earth and the beginning of our lives in Christ. It’s not just about bunnies, chicks, eggs, and candy. Make sure your kids’ baskets are also filled with the truth of Easter. Tell them about Jesus and His love, sacrifice, and forgiveness; and about the peace, joy and hope we have in the promise of enternal life when we believe. That’s the golden egg we all are hunting for!
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, ” I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even though he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Now, that’s the do or die question! I pray you have the right answer.”
T.S. – Easter, 2011