For three days now I’ve been wanting to write a special post for Easter. For three days I tossed and turned with what to write, how to write it, and trying to find a chance to write in the first place. I wanted it to be something special and of my best work. I wanted it to have meaning and depth worthy of the love it would represent. I wanted perfection out of it so badly I almost didn’t come here to write at all because as the weekend progressed it was becoming obvious that perfection, or even anything close, was not something I was going to be able to achieve.
I just couldn’t let this one go though. Easter to me is more than colorful eggs and fluffy bunnies. It’s more than bright, beautiful baskets and all the chocolate goodies. It’s even more than that “sacred” tradition of showing up in church for Easter services even if you haven’t been since Christmas.
Although I do enjoy the various traditions, games, and activities that tend to surround Easter and I have found ways for them to hold much meaning and reminders for me, Easter is just sooo much more to me.
For me, Easter is a time to purposefully reflect on what Jesus did for us and most of all the love it took for Him to not throw in the towel and let us reap our own consequences. Just like at Thanksgiving, people take a step back to add a bit more thankfullness and reverence to their daily grind of life, Easter is a time to do the same with Christ as our focus. Granted, we shouldn’t reserve reflection on (and thankfulness for) His life, love, and sacrifice for just one day a year, but I do see the value of having a time to refresh our focus and remind ourselves of what our hectic and sometimes crazy lives tend to allow us to forget.
This last friday was an extra special as well as extra emotional one for me because of something special we all got to do at CR. They brought in an old, beat up, rugged, and worn cross. Then they gave us each a piece of blank paper and a nail. We wrote down our struggles, our heartaches, our bad habits and hang-ups. We wrote about our depression, our addictions, our fear, and our anger. We noted the pain of our past and the worry for our future and we expressed our brokeness with both those around us as well as ourselves. Then we folded our papers over so that no one else could see but ourselves and God.
What came next was the most powerful part for me. We were given a hammer and told to nail it all down. We took our pieces of paper and all the personal hurt, pain, and struggle it represented for us and we nailed it onto that old beat up cross in the middle of the room. The message being both taught and symbolized there was that Jesus took care of it all for us when He allowed Himself to be nailed down. We don’t have to carry these burdens or fight these battles on our own! We don’t have to hang our heads in shame for the rest of our lives or hide in the shadows trying to run from our fears and past! Jesus wants it all and has already taken care of the price! To me, this is the greatest and most precious news on the face of this earth and I welcome any time or holiday that helps bring the focus back and clear up our vision once again. : ) I don’t know about any of you, but sometimes I tend to forget that I don’t have to do this all alone. That I can let go and that I am forgiven. That there really is a future for me that is filled with love and hope despite how my past has played out.
To me, that’s the essence of Easter. That’s what makes it so special to me. It’s a time of specific reminders and reflections on the life Jesus lived, the sacrifice he made, and the love He had, still has, and will always have for even me.
Below is a music video that has always meant a lot to me over the years. The song is “Secret Ambition” by Michael W. Smith. The video shows not only reminders of what Jesus’s sacrifice for us was really like for Him, but also the love for us that He has and the life He lived out here on earth to help teach us and help us understand and draw closer to Him. Some of the images are a bit graphic so I strongly reccomend not letting any young children see this, but the song can be played for anyone and the video is well worth watching for the older teens and us adults. It’s a heart touching reminder of all Jesus has done for us and therefore why Easter has such a special added meaning for those of us who believe in Him.
Happy Easter everyone ((hugs)) and may your day be filled with renewed hope and overflowing love no matter how you choose to celebrate. : )