Saturday, April 23

Easter: and what it has come to mean to me.

"But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.

When they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?

He is not here, but is risen!" Luke 24:2 - 6

I think Easter is my favorite 'holiday.'

It hasn't always been. Not even after giving my life to Jesus and the holiday took on a new meaning.

But this year I have found it to be a truly joyful and enjoyable occasion.

This also hasn't been the case in the past.

The holiday acknowledging the death of my Savior and the events surrounding His death have brought about feelings of guilt, shame and even doubt and disbelief. Not given to me by the Lord, of course, as not one of these are a part of God's character and would not put them on me.

But I struggled with processing the act of love that was the death of Jesus on the cross {for whosoever,

and you are a whosoever, by the way} because I just couldn't even make sense of it. How could the event

 of this man being beaten so badly that he was no longer recognizable {his arms were tied up and he was 

whipped with a 'cat of nine tails' 39 times and flesh was actually ripped off of his body with every whip}, He was 

mocked {not a single person spoke up for him or pleaded his case, the loneliness and hopelessness that any one of 

would feel in that situation is unbearable alone}, spat in his face {the out right disgrace is hard to even imagine}

forced to physically carry his death sentence {the cross itself, that is, and this is after his body was nearly ripped to

 shreds, bone and flesh}, and then actually nailed to the cross {have you ever missed a nail head with your hammer 

and accidentally hit your finger? Or how about a paper cut, anyone else cried from a paper cut? and he had a NAIL driven through his skin, muscle tissue and then hung there by those piercings alone.}?

And He never once resisted or protested.

And I think to myself, All that he went through, and he didn't deserve it. But I do. How am I not supposed to feel guilty and shameful? 

I finally realize why,

I have always stopped the story at His death.

Yes, Jesus died. He died a horrible, unthinkable, unfathomable death. There are two things that have changed the way I think about Easter this year, and I hope every year to come...

1. Jesus isn't dead anymore, HE IS ALIVE! He rose from the dead and He is alive today!!! {This is the celebration!}
2. No, He didn't deserve it. I deserve it. BUT He did it anyway, not to make me feel guilty, not to shame me. He died on the cross and rose from the dead to give me eternal life. Nothing else in the whole world could give me that opportunity. Not being a good person, not going to church, not memorizing the bible, not donating to charity, not helping the homeless, not doing my best to be a good person, not doing the 'right thing', not even believing in God. NONE of these things will get me to heaven. Jesus' death on the cross is the ONLY way that I could live eternally in heaven when I leave this earth.

So because of this I have decided that for me Jesus is not only the reason for the Christmas season. 
He isn't even the reason just for the Easter season. Jesus is the reason. {emphasis on the period}
And He died on the cross and He rose again so that YOU could be forgiven of all your sins and live eternally. Will you accept this gift and make this holiday a celebration as well?

I pray you and your family are richly blessed in God's grace, Jesus Christ, on this Easter holiday. And everyday there after.

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