What is Easter to you?
Is it cute little bunnies, an Easter Egg Hunt and all the goodies in the basket that you look forward to? Maybe, it’s the color coordinated outfits and the pretty little family picture for the social media page. Or maybe it’s the Sunday morning attendance at that church where grandma has gone all her life, and after all, since the family’s been begging you forever to go, you might as well make your “once (or twice) a year showing.”
Perhaps, your thoughts of Easter turn toward the sunrise services and Lent in the weeks before. Maybe your musings even turn toward the annual Easter plays, Choir musicals and worship endeavors of local bands and places of fellowship. If you’re in the ministry, it could be the many events of the weekend, the hard work that needs to be accomplished for the ‘big day,’ or possibly even a sermon, devotion or song presentation you’ve been asked to share on this once-a-year event.
For me, Easter is filled with a heaviness of heart, a gratefulness of mind and a true rejoicing of my spirit. This heaviness comes when I think of the cross and the price Jesus paid in my place. The weight of it all comes with the tears I shed thinking of His great sacrifice for my wretched lost ways and sinfulness. It’s not condemnation, mind you, but rather, a great conviction of who He is and who I am not. For Isaiah made it clear for us, “…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) You see, the cross, in all its shame and agony, was necessary for the shedding of Christ’s blood for you and for me. It’s not a joyous place, especially by the world’s standards, but oh, “…for the joy set before Him…” that joy was you and me!
The gratefulness of mind begins as I think of the hope I have in Christ and that hope which is for all who believe. I am grateful He died, and I am more grateful that He loved me enough to die in my place. Romans 8:11, says, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” I am, also, so grateful He didn’t stay in that place, that He rose again on that third day! I do not serve a dead King! I serve the King of Kings, the King who has risen and who is coming back again one day soon to take me home!
This is when the rejoicing builds into an overwhelming sense of joy and wonder as I ponder His pure love for me, and that this love is not conditional; it is not weak; it’s not wavering in circumstances and it’s not abundant for some and lacking for others! My spirit is overcome with rejoicing when I think about how GREAT a God He is, and how He has chosen Easter to represent His great love, His great sacrifice and His great resurrection for us! We should rejoice and praise Him not only today, but EVERY day for His love and redemption and His resurrection and soon return!! He is worthy to be praised!