Today we celebrate Easter weekend. What’s the hype and hoopla? What’s the big deal? What does Easter eggs, bunnies and choclate have to do with it? Really? Really nothing…if the truth be told. It actually has a historical connection to an old pagan ritual tracing its origins to the Babylonian godess of fertility named Ishtar. At least the literal term “Easter,” however, because of the integration of the culture, customs, and religion of the day this season adopted the term during the Roman Empire and it is recorded in Acts 12:4 to refer to the “passover.” We even refer to it as the “passion of Christ.” Well, we know this special time of the year many people focus on two things – Jesus dying on the cross and Him arising to join Our Father in Heaven. However, may we especially emphasize the underlying powerful meaning of Easter weekend – Jesus’ broken body and His spilled blood paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. His promise, made with a peaceful heart and a contented mind, gave us something we sometimes forget – hope. “We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” (Psalm 33:20, NIV).
We receive the greatest gift ever given to anyone; he gave us His life and through Him we might be saved. We called that salvation. Yet, by extension to receive this gifts we first receive His forgiveness, somewhat like a prerequisite! His forgiveness is part of the the greatest gift and we find rest, peace, freedom from guilt, and assurance of eternal life, starting right now, right here, if we believe. Recently, a movie was released entitled, “Do You Believe,” which portrays how important it is to answer this question. Most people just are aware of Easter or the Passion but it means nothing to them other than another holiday and time for a getaway or a good party. Yet, when we take a moment, to behold Christ and the Cross of Calvary, we like the Roman Governor, Pilate, in Jesus’ time asks, “What is Truth?” He was truly seeking and asking as many people are today. However, at the end of the day, we make a choice either to believe or not to believe.
Our Lord took an incredible yet painstaking journey of love for you and me and the world. No other word can describe what He did for us but only in the expression of love. In the words of Roy Lessin:
He had you in mind; You were on His heart
When He left His home in heaven, He saw you;
When He became a man on earth, He was seeking you;
when He stretched out His hands upon the cross, He was reaching out to you;
When He returned to His Father, He was preparing a place for you…You are the one He calls His own.
Let us spread this joyful message of hope to others so they may come to know the wonderful truths of Jesus. May God bless us all for an inspiring, reflective, and uplifting Easter and may we all remember its true meaning throughout the week and beyond.