Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Changes Everything

As Easter draws near I find myself thinking about many things...what God did for me, the level of Jesus' obedience and the power of the resurrection. I'm thinking about what I should do next as we prep to host 30+ family members on Sunday. I also find myself praying and asking God to help my children understand the real meaning of the holiday. And it may sound crazy but this year I've also thought about hollow chocolate Easter bunnies.

Of all the Easter treats available this is not the one I'd choose, but the other day I started thinking about them. You see every year for as long as I can remember I, or my children, have received these from my grandma B and this is our first Easter without her. Ten months have gone by and I think about her often and this year those thoughts have me thinking about Easter more.

Easter 2013 - Grandma B giving Jesse his bunny!
The other day I read a simple but profound statement - "Easter changes everything!" A year ago I would have agreed with that statement, but now I know it and believe it. So take a minute with me and let's look at what Easter is all about...the best thing I can encourage you to do is read Luke 22-24 or John 12-20. Friend, God's Word is living and active and I know He will speak to you if you sit with Him.

I'm not sure it's possible for me to summarize the events of what we now call Holy Week, but let me share a few highlights - the Last Supper where Jesus modeled humility; Judas, one of Jesus' disciples, betrayed Him; Jesus prayed (even for you and me...see John 17:20-26); He was arrested; Peter, another one of His disciples denied Him; He was tried and crucified; He was buried and three days later rose again. 

That is quite a list of events, but can I share with you that it's more than a slice of history? Friend, I viewed it that way for years, but it's different now...I believe Easter, and the Jesus we celebrate, change everything! This holiday is about so much, but I want to focus on the resurrecting power of the God I serve. Jesus, the Son of God, died. He was buried and many grieved the loss of the One they followed and loved, but God. God intervened and fulfilled the plan He sent Jesus to live out. He resurrected Him from the dead and He lived again.

That alone is an amazing story, but it does NOT end there! Friend, God still has that resurrecting power. Romans 10:9 tells us, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." God didn't just save Jesus, if we believe He will save us too.

Believing in Him and seeking a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior will save us for eternity, but again there is more. This power that God possess doesn't just make a way to heaven possible, it makes it possible for us to walk through life. A life that is hard, full of pain and can be depressing. A life that's kind of like that hollow chocolate bunny - empty and without much purpose. 

Friend, I've been thinking about Easters past and I hate to admit there was a time when it was just another commercial holiday, a vacation from school and a family get together. I'd serve at the sunrise breakfast and sing for Sunday School, but I didn't really focus on what it was all about. I knew in my head that Jesus died and rose again, but in my heart I really didn't understand.

If you find yourself in that place today, I want you to know this is so much more than another holiday! Jesus' life, death and resurrection have the power to transform you. If you find yourself empty, stressed or depressed, He can fill you, give you peace and purpose. He will dry your tears, purify your heart and change your life. He died so that we could live...forever in heaven and abundantly here on Earth!!

I want you to know trusting Jesus won't take the pain away and magically make your life perfect. My life still includes pain - I've even shed tears as I first Easter without Grandma B will be different and Saturday the 19th, the day before Easter would have been our little ones birthday, but 5+ years ago we had a miscarriage. The truth is sometimes God doesn't use His power in the way we'd like, but I've come to believe He uses it in the way He knows is best!! 

So today, though my heart is heavy and my plate is full, I am grateful. I'm thankful I know Easter changes everything and friend my prayer is you can say the same!!

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 
For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; 
death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; 
but the life He lives, He lives to God. In the same way, 
count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 
(Romans 6:8-11 NIV)

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Easter post. Thank you, Jill! I so wish I could have known your Grandma. She sounds like the most amazing godly woman!!

    Please tell Joy I received her card today! I LOVE IT. Please give her a thank you hug from me. :)

    Love you,