Monday, April 18, 2011

Passion Week

I have half a dozen other posts half-way finished. But I can't get my brain past this week. This Passion Week. I can't move past writing anything other than the cross. Redemption. Reconciliation. Grace.

As a little girl, Easter was always exciting to me. There was always a new dress. Easter baskets full of candy and sometimes a toy or two were had. My mom liked attending sunrise services on Easter Sunday morning, so I tagged along with her several times. I can remember singing hymns like Up From The Grave He Arose while standing in a graveyard as the sun came up. There were other sunrise services and early breakfasts throughout my childhood.

I grew, married and had my own babies. As Easter approached, I would fly into a shopping frenzy: beautiful dresses; lacey socks; new, white shoes; handmade hairbows; baskets full of candy and toys. By Resurrection Sunday, I would be exhausted. Still, it was my favorite Sunday of the year. I loved seeing everybody in new clothes. Upbeat songs about Christ's resurrection thrilled me {they still do}.

Somehow, all those years, I missed something. I skipped over something.

Things started changing for me a few years ago. I became less than enthusiastic about new clothes, shoes, bows, baskets, candy and eggs. I started realizing that Easter Sunday wouldn't be if Christ had not first died. I came to an understanding that the events leading up to the Sunday of celebration were of no less importance than the day itself.

It's easy to look toward Easter Sunday. It's easy to skip over the why of Easter. It's easy to dress up and celebrate.

But I've started remembering why there's a celebration: Jesus, the only perfect, sinless human that ever lived, willingly allowed Himself to be crucified so that we {I} may be reconciled to God. He died a cruel death, while those who gathered at the foot of the cross mocked him. His love for all mankind was greater than His love for His own life.

But His death was not final. Three days after His death, there was an empty tomb. An angel proclaimed, He is not here, but He has risen (Luke 24:6, NASB). He made a way for sinners to stand in the presence of a Holy God. He bridged the gap from death to life. In Him, we find grace and mercy.

This week as my family prepares for Easter {Resurrection Sunday}, we will take time to remember the why. And as we prepare, I will share our thoughts and remembrances with you in hopes that you too will take time to remember the events that preceded the Resurrection.

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