With two kids under the age of 5, Easter is full of egg hunts, horrified pictures with a giant bunny and matching outfits that they’ll hound me decades later for making them wear. But, in all of the festivities of a holiday, I am determined to honor this one with holy remembrance.
Growing up, I can remember the reverence that was reserved for Good Friday and the pomp and circumstance of a Sunday service that was a true Pentecostal celebration. Now, my personal celebration of Easter is exactly that – much more personal.
When I reread the encounters of Christ in the time leading up to the crucifixion, each year there are new uncovering’s, new depths of the despair I see He lived out. I relive the fact that He was betrayed by someone He deemed beloved and then faced beatings that my body would never have been able to sustain. I read the text of the process of His death while agonizingly recalling the price He paid for me.
In the early years of my walk with the Lord, this often brought on great amounts of guilt which resulted in distancing myself more and more from these recollections. Yet, as years have passed, my knowing of that Savior has changed, and my perspective of the sacrifice has also. What text used to make me feel shame and guilt for my sins that “caused” His death, now reads as a love letter to me of a pursuit for my heart that started with a sacrifice I didn’t yet need, but would never be able to afford to give on my own.
Every thorn in the crown He wore now symbolizes compassion, grace and endless mercy. Every spit- soaked insult that was hurled His way reminds me that He absorbed the ridicule so I could believe that I am who HE says I am. And as I read the last words my King ever said on this earth, ‘It is Finished”, I know that the task He came to accomplish – to make a way I couldn’t, to look beyond centuries and breath my life into existence with grace afforded even then….I am certain that LOVE is the largest human word that can be attached to such an act. Yet, I’m sure we fall short in describing such a heavenly happening.
As you celebrate Easter this year – remember the sacrifice that was made for you. However, I encourage you to shake off the solemn and see each part of the story as another wave of grace that your creator was making in the current of your story before you would ever create your first ripple. It wasn’t because you were so wrong, so broken, so desolate (though all of that may be true). All of this, all the agony, all the pain, all the sacrifice, was proof to you, to me and to the entire world of a love that we/they would never know otherwise. So, celebrate that with all that display deserves and every bit the pomp and circumstance of a 1990’s Carmen song!