Penned this a couple of years ago…feel the same way about Easter today as I did then. Hope this encourages you.
Growing up as a child Easter was one of my favorite holidays.
As much as I loved finding chocolate eggs on the Easter egg hunts, to me Easter was about a lot more.
My grandparents always made sure we would experience a little of the way Jesus would’ve spent his last few days on earth.
I very distinctly remember this one Easter – I must’ve been around 5 or 6, where loads of my family went to Spain to spend the Easter holidays together.
As so often when celebrating the Easter season, we would begin by celebrating Passover on Thursday, on Friday we would go to church, eat fish and read the scripture account of Jesus’ death – His death for the atonement of our sins.
As a little girl, those few days were always so full of expectation.
Having grown up in a Christian environment I knew what was coming on Sunday.
I knew it was but the celebration of an event some 2000 years ago…and yet….
Saturdays always felt like limbo days.
Whenever I’d spend them at my grandparents (even that time in Spain) we would go for walks, play in the house or the garden (love a good limbo day at the beach!!), and I remember always sensing that this wasn’t just any weekend and waiting – hopeful and expectant – for what I knew was yet to come.
HAD to come for all of life to make sense…
And then, then there was SUNDAY. Even as I write these thoughts I feel a sense of expectation, gratitude and excitement.
Oh how GRATEFUL I am for Sunday.
As much as what we remember on Good Friday is the most generous, passionate act of love this world has ever seen – if it wasn’t for Sunday, we’d all spend our lives in limbo.
The same way I’d experience those funny Saturdays between Good Friday and Easter Sunday as a child. Knowing something significant had happened, but also knowing it wasn’t over yet. The purpose of Easter hadn’t been achieved…
Every Easter Sunday my grandparents would wake me up whispering in my ear ‘good morning – HE IS RISEN’ and my little self would jump out of bed and whith a heart full of joy responding ‘HE IS RISEN INDEED’.
My favorite Easter scripture has always been Luke 24:5-7 – as a kid, reading it from my children’s bible and theatrically quoting it to all the adults was the highlight of every Easter Sunday (imagine 5 year old dramatic Jess here)…
“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! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ”AND THEY REMEMBERED HIS WORDS.”
Luke 24:5-8 NKJV
Oh what joy! I’m literally almost crying as I sit pondering this thought!
HE IS NOT HERE!!!
Aren’t these the best news anyone’s ever heard?
I love how the women’s experience at the tomb really is the experience of any man or woman who encounters the gospel of Jesus for the first (or the millionth) time.
Luke writes that they were afraid…
How often in our fear do we bury our face in our hands, unable to look up and around to see the God answer in our lives?
They saw the angels but because they buried their hands they couldn’t even see that the one they were seeking was no longer there. What I find interesting is that even the declaration of angels wasn’t what comforted them.
It was when those same angles quoted the very words Jesus had spoken and THEY REMEMBERED HIS WORDS, that fear left. The scripture goes on to say that they dropped everything and went and told everyone the good news.
I pray that this Easter we would all remember this feeling.
That moment our spirit remembered where it came from and responded to the call of the good news of Jesus.
The moment we encountered His grace and kindness for the first time.
And I pray we’d pause long enough to celebrate this appropriately – if you have kids, don’t think this Easter will just pass them by. I know for a fact that the diligence and love my family has put into making those Easters special is what has made the truth of Jesus real and alive in me and has carried me through many dark times and seasons I chose to run away from Him.
Let’s pause and remember His words. Easter is why all of life can make sense.
Why there’s hope in even the darkest of times.
Easter has changed the course of history forever.
Wherever you find yourself – whether you call yourself a believer, whether you’re on the fringe, or have nothing to do with any of this, I encourage you to pause and reflect and maybe even take a risk and pray.
You may be surprised what can come from it….
On that note – happy Easter!! Be sure to eat loads of Easter chocolates.