I can’t believe that Easter is already here. Of course, the 60-70 degree weather in April is throwing me for a loop in believing that we are in the middle of spring (not that I’m complaining since hot on it’s heels is the triple digit summer heat…sorry for the bad pun, I couldn’t resist). But Easter is commonly a time of reflection and redemption. People who haven’t been to church all year will put on their Sunday best this weekend and sit for the service. Churches across the nation are planning parking contingency plans, extra seating, and working harder than ever to make sure that the church is also presented in it’s Sunday best. None of this is necessarily bad, so please don’t take any offense. I’m merely painting a picture of what we see on the outside of Easter weekend. But beyond the oh-so-delicious chocolate, the brightly colored eggs, the frilly spring dresses, and table full of spring time delicacies, is the reality of what we are celebrating. We reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus and then celebrate His resurrection. We clap and sing of His greatness in overcoming the grave, but do we really, truly understand what we are celebrating?
Both of my girls are sick right now. They have been coughing since this weekend and began the week with fevers. My younger daughter handles sickness like a pro. Outside of the pathetic cough and the momentary pauses that she takes from her constant tornado-esque personality, you may not even realize she is fighting a fever over 100 degrees. Now her big sister on the other hand does not hide her weariness well. Whenever her fever peaks, she cries out for me. She gets the shakes and just asks to be held.
I have never experienced anything that makes me feel so incredibly helpless. I genuinely hate when my child is in pain, and even more so when I can’t do anything to make it better. I administer the medicine to help combat the fever; I offer her water and juice to keep her hydrated and to soothe her raw throat. But I can not make her pain go away in my own power. In those moments, as I pray for her healing, I just wish I could be the one sick instead. Let me deal with the coughing and fever because at least my girls would be well and happy and at peace. Let me take the pain for them.
It was in the moments that I prayed this that I caught a glimpse of the majesty that is the love of Christ. God saw and experienced the pain that his people were walking through from the day that Adam and Eve fell victim to sin in the garden of Eden. His heart broke that we had to endure the consequences for our choices. He grieved that our selfishness took us further and further away from him. Jesus said, “Let me take the pain for them.” And so, He sent a way. He sent Jesus to live the life that we could not live and then die a death that we could not endure to conquer the grave that would have held us down. In the same way that all I want for my girls is to bear their pain to save them from it, Christ did that for us. He bore the weight and pain from our sin and shame. He died to pay the penalty, but he rose again to show that he conquered death so that we may experience life, an eternal life free from pain and in eternal joy in the presence of God.
My prayer for you this Easter weekend is that you would allow God the opportunity to show you who he is. Not who you may think he is or your preconceived notions, but allow him to show you himself. Allow him to show you his wonder and glory and mercy and forgiveness. Allow him to show you how desperately he loves you and desires for you to be his child. Allow him to change you and mold you into the beautiful creation you were meant to be. Allow him to bear the pain for you, because he already has. That’s why we celebrate Easter.
Happy Easter everyone.