Dressing up is an integral part of any Easter day celebration. Girls get new Easter dresses and shoes; boys get new shirts. We dye eggs and fill baskets with candy and toys. The kids get more sugared up on this holiday than on Christmas (at least mine do! By 7:30 am Griffin had already had a lollipop, 1/2 a Three Musketeers, and countless Tootsie rolls...not to mention his morning cup of coffee, but that's another post altogether!)
But what is really important about Easter is the meaning, of course. The resurrection of Jesus. Without it, there is no "Christianity". Without it, Jesus would have been just another man.
But another man he was not....he who healed the sick, loved the unlovable, and taught the masses was not merely a man. He was Jesus Christ, the long awaited Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
As predicted by prophets of long ago, this humble "man" of only 33 years died a shameful death, naked on a wooden cross, in the company of 2 thieves. He took on the sins of you and of me; all of our past, present, and future wrongs. He intimitely felt the guilt, the shame, the despair, and the penalty that we deserve. When He cried out asking His Father why he had been forsaken, it was because in that moment God turned away. You see, our God is a holy God and cannot look on sin. And when Jesus bore my sin, His father looked away.
I am in tears as I write this because this innocent, sinless, loving man took all that on -- for me. If I had been the only human in the universe, He'd have done it.....for me.
He did it for you, too.
The good news is that despite being buried in a borrowed tomb on that somber day, you will not find his remains there today. For on the third day as the women went to tend to Jesus' body, they found the heavy stone rolled away from the mouth of the cave. An angel greeted them and said those history changing words, "He is not here, for He has risen, like He said."
Or as the boys would say, when asked why we celebrate Easter, "Jesus is alive!!"
He *is* alive. He is ever present in this tumultuous world. What a relief to know that we don't wander this planet aimlessly, just living to do our own thing. We were each created with a purpose and a mission. Sometimes our missions change. Sometimes they remain the same.
Whatever your mission in life is today, embrace the fact that Jesus Christ lived for you and died for you...and lives again for you. He loves you!