The season of Lent is coming to a close. An immensely important time of the Christian year is upon us, as well as the mix of emotions that come along with it.
Recognizing and celebrating Easter is, of course, notably commercialized with bunnies and candy galore, but the reason for the season still rings true. I couldn’t think of a better opportunity than now to share my own Easter devotional and simply allow the words flow through my heart. This Easter devotional might turn into a stream of consciousness, but bear with me because it is nothing but good intentions.
Connections with Passover.
All of Lent has been of great significance, lending itself to be a month’s worth of Easter devotionals, but it all leads up to this point.
Without Easter, without this weekend, Christianity would not exist. Our faith rests in this moment of grief, only to feel overcome with joy and elation over Christ’s resurrection. This moment establishes Jesus’s role as the powerful Son of God, the ultimate proof of God’s mercy as He fulfills the promise He made.
If you too study the Bible, there’s an important connection we can make with Easter and the Old Testament’s tradition of Passover. In this ancient practice, families would share a meal, sacrifice a lamb, and mark their door frames that confirms their status as Israelites, God’s people, and that any plagues and hardships He inflicted would “pass over” the chosen ones, the believers.
Rather than the specific process of following every single line of the Law Book as God commanded the Israelites to do, Passover takes on a new meaning through Jesus Christ. In the Last Supper He prepared for Himself and His disciples, Jesus designated bread and wine as His body and blood, so soon to be sacrificed. In this, Jesus became our Passover lamb, forever marking our door frames with His blood.
So much more.
Nothing is more deserving a devotional than the act of Jesus’s sacrifice. I cannot even fathom the emotion behind the agonizing pain that is crucifixion, hours spent nailed onto a cross as your lungs and body collapses.
Do you love someone else so much that you would die for them like that? Now think of dying in that way for all the world, and that world full of people is very flawed, even disbelieving of you as you claim to be. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’d be willing to go through with that situation, even if that’s what God asked of me.
Jesus was wise, knowing His purpose in the world and how He must serve it. His disciples didn’t understand it, why He had to die, why so many were beating Him and punishing Him, but Jesus helped put it all into perspective. John 12:23-25 says, “‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.'” The single Son of Man is capable of sowing every other seed so it flourishes in His name.
But Jesus does it, not just because He IS God, but because He is merciful. He dies for every single sin, for every single person, taking on the burden that we alone cannot handle. He strengthens us and, in turn, grants us eternal life. No other act of love and compassion can compare to this.
Jesus relied on His faith in every single moment. Every breath, He breathed for His Holy Father, until the very end. Luke 23:46 says, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” At least until He is resurrected from the dead, returning to this world as a walking miracle.
This is why we celebrate, why we want to shout from the mountaintops in joy, HE HAS RISEN! A miracle beyond all others. An act of God that, unlike times of simply showing His power in the Old Testament, is His power in its truest form: pure forgiveness and love.
How to celebrate.
By all means, enjoy the candy. Enjoy the time with family and other festivities that, although commercialized, bring us some springtime cheer. And for many people who crowd into church pews for their annual mark of attendance, take time for Him today, too.
Sure, it’d be great if we have perfect attendance at our congregation, that we always think about Him and incorporate His teachings into each day, but life just seems to get in the way. My last intention in this Easter devotional is to make anyone feel guilty for only championing their faith for Easter as so many do. In my opinion, better now than never. Better to remember the most important day in the Christian calendar and reason for the church’s existence than to believe in nothing.
But if it truly is this one day that you have set aside for Him, make the most out of it. Enjoy the jelly beans and Cadbury eggs, but also step back for some contemplation and reflection. Reassert your beliefs in the Resurrection and in your relationship with Jesus. Remind yourself of the peace that is salvation. The realization that we are each sinful and flawed and constantly weaving amidst our morality (and not always making the best decisions in thought and action)…all of these things we are, and yet Jesus still saves us. We are made whole. We are loved. We are enough.
Every day is an opportunity to celebrate the resurrection. The disciples and apostles promoting God’s Word are great examples to follow in this. After Jesus returned, He visited the disciples, as mentioned in Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”
There is so much to say about the resurrection and all it represents, but the message is clear: we are so very blessed, and we have so many reasons for devotion in Easter and Christ. Praising and thanking Him is the least we can do to account for His awesome grace and power. Please, if you have any more thoughts about Easter you’d like to share, do so in the comments below to keep on spreading the love.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie