It’s Easter time, my absolute all-time-favorite Holiday & to me, signifies the beginning of Spring!
I’ve always loved Easter; from being a kid & looking for eggs that the Easter Bunny left behind in my Dad’s army boots, to buying new Easter dresses to wear to Sunday morning Easter Church Service this holiday has a lot of meaning for me. It’s especially gained even more meaning as the last few years, I’ve re-committed my faith, walk & relationship with the Lord.
I see all the Easter egg hunts at various locations, the stores full of junk to fill Easter baskets, & my own house decorated with bunny wreaths & it makes me kind of sad. How did we get so far away from what the true meaning of Easter really is?
I’m not a very good listener, I’ll be the first to admit it. I try & try, but it’s a definite weakness of mine. I’m a much better talker than I am a listener. I often pray that God helps me to listen & recognize his voice & his direction daily as he guides me. But at the end of the day (doesn’t it always seem that’s when your brain reminds you of everything you’ve failed to during the day, when you’re trying to sleep!) is usually when I feel like I’ve missed God’s voice, that I didn’t “stop” & notice Him at work in me. Fortunately for me I’m a journaler (spell check???) I’ve always kept journals & 9/10 time’s the entries usually turn out to be written prayers, feelings, confessions, confusions, conversations & answers from me to God. I’m very fortunate that that is how God has chosen to communicate with me & that I’m recognizing his advice written in my own handwriting. Lately, my entries have been about Easter & how, why…he loves us so much even when we continually break his heart.
I was reminded of a time I shared with my nieces a few years back.They were spending the night at my parents house & I was over visiting, laying in bed with them just…talking (some of my favorite time’s spent with them). We were talking about Easter-what it means & I was struggling to answer their questions as best I could in explaining to a 7 & 6year old what the holiday is about. One of my nieces, as only a kid can do, said, “That must of made God so sad to see people hurt his Son like that.” I didn’t realize it until recently, but I bet it did make him sad. I’ve always struggled with the words Jesus spoke on the cross in Matthew 27:46,”My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”….God had actually turned his head away when Jesus was at the pinnacle of his torture. I never really GOT that until recently during one of my journal sessions. In my limited understanding of God, it seemed to me that if he turns his back on his only begotten Son, how am I supposed to believe he won’t do that same to me during the times I need him the most. Well, I realized he wasn’t turning His back on Jesus.
He was allowing the full-weight of the world’s sin to be upon His child. Because of the world’s sin, Jesus had to bear this sacrifice. He turned away & Jesus was alone, not cushioned by God’s support, so that the full-brunt of our sin was piled onto Jesus…God’s Child…His Son.
God was pained…we caused God to be pained, you & I.
I don’t know how you feel, but I feel guilty.
I don’t have children, but I do have a wonderful family & amazing nieces that I can’t wait to watch the young woman God turns them into, but I can’t wrap my mind around sacrificing them (or any other family member) for someone who constantly rejects me, turns from me, even denies my existence. And to think that God did that for me, it blows my mind! And even if I was the only person on the planet, God would still have put His only Son through that pain…
How am I worthy? How are you worthy?
None of us are without sin, even the best of us, still sin. We’ve all seen how our decisions, our sin, has pained & hurt others. And I know I’ve pained & hurt my own parents through my decisions, but to think that I’ve actually pained God (not just pissed him off, but actually broke his heart!), that bothers me. To think that he sacrificed his Child, His flesh & blood, the human form of himself…for me…that’s a level of love that can never be reached through anything other than a relationship with God.
So this Easter when you’re spending time with your family. Take a minute & just be thankful…be grateful. Even if you do it in the privacy of your own bedroom, in the quiet moments away from family, just thank God for the sacrifice He laid down for YOU, so that you can live a life of forgiveness.
Like any Father, He’ll love hearing, “Thank You” from the mouths of his precious children.
*From the movie, Fireproof. Even if you’re not married, watch it for strong examples of how to love*