Wednesday, April 4, 2012

surreal truth of Easter

Without Christmas there would be no Easter.  But without Jesus there wouldn’t be Easter or Christmas.  As I think about the holiday we know as Easter and how we celebrate it, I realize the fact that we put so much more emphasis on Christmas.

Easter is the crux of our faith.  Jesus died for our sins.  He gave more than any of us will give, and this was God’s plan for humanity.  God’s plan is to love people like no one else could.

There is surreal truth of Easter week that changes how we live, what we believe and even the way we deal with people.  This truth is centered in, rooted deep inside and given by the hand of God.  Spend some time this week thanking God for His truth.

took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD! Hail to the King of Israel!”

Before Jesus’ death, people shouted His praise.  This was days before His death.  Far too often we take the easy road.  The other guy is doing this or that, and we join in.  But praise should never be because someone else is doing it.  Praising God comes from a heart and life that is changed by God.

Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.

Ever know someone who talked a good game, but they couldn’t follow through?  That is Peter.  Yet Peter was a giant in the faith during his time with Jesus and after.  Right in the middle of the most critical time of Jesus’ life on earth, Peter failed Jesus.  He denied that he knew Jesus.  We’ve done that.  The truth of Easter is that we in no way deserve for someone to die for us.  By God’s grace we are forgiven and given 2nd chances.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

That saying came from the cross.  Jesus had been mocked, tried, falsely accused, beaten, nailed to the cross and humiliated by the leaders of the land and the leaders of the church of that day.  But Jesus forgave them all.  He could see the plan from beginning to end.  He trusted in what was bigger.  How often do we let situations cloud the bigger picture?  It is important to realize that in everything, big or small, God has a plan.

The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?

There are so many truths that can be traced to the week of Easter and Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  Yet the question of this verse has circled my mind and heart for much of this week.  Are we spending our time among things that don’t matter?  Are we looking for life where death is prominent?  God calls us to focus on abundant life, and we can do that only as we realize that we must worship our worthy God, thank Him for accepting us even through our weakness, grasp the reality of our forgiveness and begin to seek life in all we do.

The surreal truth of Easter is still changing lives.  Let it change yours and others as we live this out!

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happy birthday, Julie

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