Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter gives new life, joyful salvation: He is Risen!

I remember my first Easter egg hunt. I was three years old, and along with about 30 other tots, had a grand time scouring the woods for the hundreds of brightly colored eggs lying hidden amongst the trees.

It was my first real competition, and if I recall correctly, I came home with eight eggs. I was much better at finding them than at actually keeping them in my little basket. Every time I’d bend down to pick up a new egg, I’d spill the others in the pine straw. My mom, bless her heart, kept running along behind me to make sure I scooped up all my fallen prizes.

I didn’t win the egg hunt that day, but it was my first lesson in the wonderment that is Easter.

Of course, back then Easter was mostly about the eggs, the chocolate, and the Easter dress (always pink), which either came from Sears or Pizitz at the tail-end of a day-long shopping adventure. I always knew there was more to the holiday, but as a little girl, that was what really jumped out. That, and the Easter Bunny.

Today, I reflect on a more meaningful Easter. Life can be tougher for an adult than it is for a child, and I think a lot more about the burdens many friends, relatives, and I, share.

The Gospels tell us Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding up the Jericho road on the back of an untainted beast of burden. He arrived as humble royalty, welcomed by the sound of adoration from many of his followers. Then He met with persecution, sentencing, and crucifixion, taking on a much greater burden as the weight of this world, our weight, came crashing down upon Him.

I realize all the more as time goes by how heavy this must have been. It leads me to thankfulness, worship, and repentance, that the untainted Son of Man would take this on for me… and for you.

Today I know how sweet this holiday is for celebrating His resurrection, how He completes me and restores my relationship with Creator God. I am relieved of, and forgiven the weight of my sin, a child of God with a reason to celebrate, and to love.

I hope you have a joyful Easter, free from burden. We worship a Risen King, who makes all things new for us when we believe and confess Him as our Savior.

This Easter, may you experience new life, and joy like the child I was, chasing after eggs with my mom.

“Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven…” – I Peter 1:3