But here on this mountain, God-of the-Angel-Armies will throw a feast for all the people of the world,
A feast of the finest foods, a feast with vintage wines,
A feast of seven courses, a feast lavish with gourmet desserts.
And here on this mountain, God will banish the pall of doom hanging over all peoples. The shadow of doom darkening all nations.
Yes, he’ll banish death forever.
And God will wipe the tears from every face.
He’ll remove every sign of disgrace from his people, wherever they are.
Yes! God says so!
~ Isaiah 25:6-8 (MSG
Temptation is part of life. The little things that push you to do something your gut’s not so sure about. The habitual relationships with people you know are hurting your heart. The negative influences of media that you continue to pay attention. We screw up. We get down on ourselves. We fall into darkness. Life gets messy. We neglect our faith. We forget what’s important. Our priorities get mixed up. Listening to God and being still can seem impossible. Being cold-hearted and having a closed mind may seem like less work. Negative opinions and judgements happen. Sin is inevitable.
Fortunately, we have an out. We have a way to press through pressure. Believing in Jesus Christ and knowing that He sacrificed himself so that we may be at peace with our not-so obedient actions. He died on the cross so we may be forever forgiven. We have an opportunity to be saved. We have the ability to rest easy. With the light of Jesus Christ, the shadow of temptation is turned behind us.
Easter Story Summary
Easter is a crucial part of the Christian faith. Knowing that God sent His only son to Earth to teach love, grace, peace, healing, understanding, mercy and forgiveness to us – all of us – is something that is comforting and calming. Jesus lived a perfect life as an example of what we should strive to be. He then died for us so we don’t ever have to suffer from shame. That’s mind-blowing.
The Sunday before Easter Sunday, called Palm Sunday, Jesus Christ was welcomed by the city of Jerusalem. The people stood in the streets, waving palm branches and shouting, “Hosanna!” Jesus made his presence known, making sure all people understood that His temple is a holy place; for healing, prayer and restoration.
Four days after Palm Sunday, on Maundy Thursday, Jesus ate the Last Supper. He explained the symbolism of Holy Communion; and from here on out, we can acknowledge God’s great love for us, and recognize Jesus’ great sacrifice for our sins.
“Take, eat. This is my body. Drink this, all of you. This is my blood, God’s new covenant poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.”
~ Matthew 26:26-28 (MSG)
The next day, on Good Friday, Jesus suffered for us. Jesus was humiliated and mocked. He was judged and criticized. He was forced to carry his own cross until He no longer could. He wore a crown of thorns. He was whipped and beaten. He suffered in agony for us. He was nailed to the cross. He reached a breaking point. He yelled to God. He took his final breath.
Then, the temple curtain was ripped into two. God’s word became directly available and accessible for all. This is good news. Jesus was then buried in a tomb that was sealed tight.
“Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
~ Matthew 27:46
Jesus told us that He would come back. He wouldn’t abandon us.
And, sure enough, Sunday morning – Easter Morning – God’s angel told Mary Magdalene to go share the glorious news: That Jesus had risen. That Jesus was and is alive. The stone had been rolled away. Jesus was no longer dead. Jesus’ body was most definitely NOT stolen. Jesus has been resurrected. Jesus is here for you, me, and everyone else. (If that’s not a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is!)
Jesus Christ is here. He’s here for you and me. He suffered the ultimate sacrifice so we may be at peace with our disobedient selves. His love is so great. His power is so magnificent. His grace is so abundant. His forgiveness is forever.
We’ve been commissioned by God himself through Jesus Christ to share this good news. We’ve been asked to shine Jesus’ light. We’ve been summoned to spread God’s grace. We’ve been told to practice a life of unwavering faith through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus will never abandon us. He is alway there for you, and me. He is better than any chocolate bunny or giant egg. He is the ultimate gift. Find Him. Seek Him.
This Easter, give thanks, acknowledge Jesus’ sacrifice, seek forgiveness, and be diligent about spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
He is risen. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Xoxo and God Bless,
“She is tossed by the waves, but does not sink.”