In the bleak mid-winter, I am thinking of another season.
Tomorrow, February 25, 2015, marks 40 days until Resurrection Sunday, what the world calls Easter.
Like many other Christian-related events, the holiday of Easter has taken on a life of its own, becoming quite commercial and in many ways far removed from what it was to represent. On Easter Sunday morning, people will fill sanctuaries of churches all over the world. Some of them haven’t been to church since last Easter. Many will wear new clothes. Children will find an Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies, eggs, and jelly beans. Plastic eggs will hide in yards waiting to be found by happy little folk, excited for the adventure. Families will gather at the table for a festive meal and probably serve ham. Because that’s what we do on Easter. Right?
But . . . let’s view the holiday through a different lens.
Jesus entered Jerusalem one triumphant Sunday and on the following Thursday, he celebrated the Jewish Passover feast with his twelve friends. In less than 24 hours, he was hanging on a rugged cross gasping for breath and weighed down with the load of guilt, shame and sin from the likes of you and me. He was the sacrificial Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world, to satisfy a holy and righteous God who must and will judge sin.
He died a horribly cruel death and was buried in a borrowed tomb. His friends, followers, and family were devastated, their hopes dashed to the bloody ground where Jesus’ life poured out. They didn’t understand.
Somehow the world still doesn’t.
Sunday morning brought a glorious change. Astonished women and disciples discovered an empty tomb. Men walking along a road, welcomed a companion and only recognized Him as the living Lord when He broke bread and gave thanks. A surprise appearance to the disciples and a touching of the nail prints turned despair unto belief as words joyously expressed the heart’s cry, “My Lord and my God!”
This is the reason we celebrate.
Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be taking a 40-day journey toward Resurrection Sunday.
Would you join me and my sweet sister-friend, Robin Howe, who will be guest posting with me during the next 40 days?
This journey is meant to prepare our hearts, to work out our salvation by drawing near to the heart of God with the desire to be more like Christ Jesus every day. In the process may we become more pliable in the Father’s hand so that He can conform us into the image of Jesus, which is our purpose.
You are welcome here. Journey with us during the next 40 days as we look backward at God’s plan and forward to it’s fulfillment.
From Mt. Moriah with Abraham and Isaac to the Israelite deliverance from Egyptian bondage.
To the Judgment halls of Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod.
To the whipping post and the road to Calvary.
To the darkest weekend the world has ever witnessed.
To the garden tomb very early on Sunday morning.
This is our salvation. This is our freedom. This is our victory!
Revised and re-posted from March 2014
I would love to hear from you, especially if you are journeying with us.