I love Easter. I actually like it more than Christmas. I used to dread it. I used to be depressed during it. Now…. I love it! I love the weather around Easter. I love see everything in bloom. I love the longer days. I love the story of Easter. I love Jesus.
In years past I struggled with the fun part of Easter. I was so focused on the crucifixion and felt so bad about it that I missed the celebration part. I was so focused on the horrific details of his death and the events that led up to it that I skimmed over the fact that he overcame death.
True story, I thought the songs of praise were inappropriate on Easter Sunday. That is how focused I was on his death. For years I did this. I missed out.
In doing a study called “One thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp I have taken time to focus on what I am grateful for. I have praised God in the good, bad, ugly, boring, and uneventful things in life. It has challenged me on my views and perspectives. I like to have fun in life and have an annoyingly loud laugh (it’s genetic), but when it came to my faith I was so serious and gloomy. I focused mainly on the rules and not so much in my faith. Last year I started my journey of growth and freedom. This Easter I felt free!
It’s one of the hardest concepts for people to grasp. Jesus is freedom. Jesus is peace. Jesus is hope. He died on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He died for all of us. Every single one of us. You know that sinning you do, or just did, or are about to do? He died for that.
We didn’t ask him to. It was his ultimate purpose. He knew and wasn’t real thrilled about it, but he did it anyway. Then he rose from the grave. He overcame death and walked among the people one last time before being reunited with His father, God. He left the message of “I will see you again”.
As I type this I bow my head… Humbled, grateful, amazed, excited. God showed his ultimate love for us in Jesus. It isn’t hateful, judgmental, spiteful, bitter, or ugly. It’s beautiful and surpasses our human understanding. As I once did, our society puts so much focus on being right and the religious rules that we miss the point of his resurrection. We missed the message. We overlooked the gift. This past year, I finally opened the gift. It was a freedom. It was peace.
It’s the first year I have allowed myself to celebrate that Jesus rose from the grave and is alive. I am celebrating that He is sitting at the right hand of God in heaven. I am celebrating that He will return one day to earth and one day I will get to see him face to face. That is totally awesome and worth celebrating.
I even did the fun, silly stuff this year. Hid Easter eggs and have fun doing so. Rocked out Easter Baskets for the boys and felt no dread. Jammed out my finder nails in springy colors because it made me laugh. Sang a little loud during worship service (and God did not give me the gift of song) and maybe did a little dancing. I had fun. I celebrated.
He is Risen! He is Risen indeed. Celebrate it how you see fit, but celebrate it! Happy Easter.