Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Love of Easter

As a family we have been watching the Bible Series every Sunday evening and it has brought up many questions for my two youngest children.  If you really think about it they are taught from a young age in Sunday school Bible stories.  The difference is in Sunday school many times it is watered down or made to be softer than it really is.  Don’t get me wrong I am thankful for all the Sunday school teachers and the many lessons they have taught my children growing up.  I am guilty of the same thing.  However, watching the Bible series as a family has opened many conversations about God and Bible times.  Especially this last episode where it was about the birth of Jesus and this coming Sunday will be about the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  All of my children believe in the death and resurrection and each have a personal relationship with Him, but I have to ask do they really understand the gravity of what really happened to Him?  Putting the kids aside do we truly understand and know how much He suffered for each of us.  Do we really understand why?

A number of years ago a friend and I were watching “The Passion of the Christ” and it came to the part where they were whipping Jesus and pieces of His flesh were being ripped off him with each blow.  In the middle of the theater I stood up and yelled as loud as I could “Leave Him alone!!!”  I have heard the story of the crucifixion and the moments leading up to it many times, but when I saw it on the big screen it gave it a whole new meaning.  The one thought that kept going through my mind was at any moment He could have stopped it but He let them spit on Him, call Him names, torture Him, and kill Him. The question is why?  Well the question is answered with one word and it is “love.”  Love kept Him on that cross.  He loved us so much that He gave His life freely so that we could be forgiven and would be able to live with Him for all eternity.  He could have made all of us believe but He gives us the choice.

I remember one Sunday I was teaching about Easter and the moments leading up to Christ’s resurrection and one of the girls asked “why would He go through so much pain and die for what, our sins; being that He is God couldn’t he make everyone love Him?”  I said yes, He could have, but it is like this, I am a mom and I could tell my kids to say that they love me and demand that they love me, but I would rather them be willing and because they truly love me to tell me that they love me.  I don’t want my kids to love me because they have to, but because the want to.  God is God and He can make us do anything if he truly wanted to, but because He loves us so much He gave us the freedom of choice, so we can choose to love Him and believe in Him because we want to and we really do not because we are made to.  As a parent there is no greater feeling than when my kids of their free will come up to me and say I love you.

As much as I love my children my love for them is nothing compared to how much God love His children; us those who believe in Him.  He will do anything and has in order for us to return to Him someday when we leave this life.  He also wants to be a part of our lives while we are still here on this earth.  Trust me I have had life with Him and without Him part of it.  Life may not be easier because He is in my life but I promise you it has been easier to bear.

The Easter holiday is filled with fun traditions, with Easter eggs, candy, the Easter bunny, and so on, but if you think about it what is the true meaning of why we celebrate Easter to begin with?  Don’t get me wrong I love dying eggs with my kids and watching their faces lite up as they see their Easter baskets, but I wish that they could have the same reaction when they hear the story of how Christ died and rose again.

Over the years I have lost loved ones and I know many others who have lost loved ones as well.  Feeling the loss of someone so close to you is one of the hardest things I have ever gone through.  The only peace I have is the hope that Christ has given me when He died on the cross for the forgiveness of all mankind.  John 3:16 says it all. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes Him shall not parish but with have eternal life.  So the comfort I find is that the parting I have with those loved and lost are only but a moment in time.  Because of Christ giving His life so we can live gives me comfort that I will see them again.  What a blessing to have that assurance.

This Easter take the time to reflect on what Christ truly did for us and share it with those you love. The fact of the matter is that Christ did suffer and die on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins so that we will never have to be apart from Him. The fact of the matter is He was buried and rose again which is why we can have the hope and assurance in a future with God as our personal Savior.

I know that there are those who will chose not to believe and that is their right, but my prayer is that you will know in your heart that there is a God that loves you enough to die for you.  I pray that you will come to know God as your personal Savior and have a relationship with Him.  The reason we celebrate Easter is because of His resurrection. There is nothing in this world that is more powerful than the Risen King and the power of His Grace.




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