Happy Resurrection Day!
When I was a child, I thought Easter was about bunnies, pastel colored eggs, patent leather shoes, and pretty dresses. My mom and I would go to church, then have dinner with friends.
I learned at church that Easter Sunday was the day that Jesus rose from the dead. He had been crucified three days earlier, then placed into a tomb. But, by some miracle, He was resurrected. And, somehow, that meant that He saved the world.
As I got older, I didn’t understand the correlation between Jesus and bunny rabbits. I was confused about how dyeing boiled eggs represented the resurrection or salvation. But, I didn’t feel comfortable asking anyone about it. I’m not even sure who I would’ve asked. In those days, it wasn’t polite to question religious practices.
Why do we have to put holy water on our foreheads? Or even ashes, for that matter? Why do we have to genuflect before sitting in the pew? Why do we have to make the sign of the cross? What happens if we don’t do any of those things? What does it all mean?
These are some of the questions that I kept to myself. I just performed the rituals like everyone else around me, without the slightest clue as to why. Oh, I’m sure there were explanations for these things in Catechism class, but apparently those explanations didn’t stick. So, by the time I went to college, I had no meaningful connection to the religion that I professed. For years, I had been going through the motions.
I never got to the point where I didn’t believe in God. I just didn’t understand Him. And, the Bible was just too boring and complicated to understand. I had tried to read it here and there since I was about 12 years old. But, I’d always fall asleep. I just didn’t get it.
Fast forward a few years when I learned from my earthly father that I could have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. I didn’t need an authority figure to bridge the gap because I already had one. And this Jesus person loved me. Really? Why?
That question led me to read all four Gospels back to back in search of the answer. And, when I did, I saw nothing about bunnies, pastel eggs, or dressing up. I also didn’t see the word “Easter” anywhere. What I did see was this beautiful human being with the biggest heart for people...all kinds of people.
I saw that He didn’t care what others thought about Him. He was on a mission to heal sick people, feed hungry people, and teach people about His Father who was God Himself. He gave encouragement to those who were poor in spirit, or down in the dumps.
He showed them love, which opened their hearts to embracing His teachings. And, what did His teachings consist of? It was very simple. Sin no more. Love God. Love each other. That’s it.
But, just like today, there were those who still hated Him, in spite of all the good that He did. Even when the authorities sought to kill Him, He remained faithful to the cause. Even hanging on the Cross, He asked His Father to forgive those who nailed Him to it.
He knew He had a greater purpose than could be seen with the human eye. And, He subjected Himself obediently to that purpose so that all those who came after Him could be saved from the power that sin had over the lives of all who had come before, including King David.
In the last few days, I’ve seen King David go from faithful man of God to a murdering adulterer. He went from regularly asking God for direction to making moves under his own power. He and practically every other man and woman I’ve read about thus far on this Bible journey have succumbed to the power of sin over their lives.
David’s punishment was visited upon his children. One died as a baby. His daughter was raped by his son. Another son killed the rapist son, then campaigned to steal the throne from David, who then ran off with his tail between his legs.
Reading the Old Testament has strengthened my faith in the salvation of Jesus Christ. It paints the picture of just how badly human beings need saving. We are vulnerable to the things which we cannot see. God, in His infinite wisdom, knew this.
He knew that we needed an update to patch up the vulnerability that was left wide open for hackers to penetrate when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit which had a virus attached to it. Jesus’ resurrection was that patch. And that’s what I am celebrating this Sunday.
Happy Resurrection Day!
*Join my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
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