Easter Weekend 2009 {Part I}

Hands down, Easter is my favorite holiday of the year. It is the reason I love Jesus. It is the reason I am a Christ-follower. It is Hope. It is Abundant Life. It is sacrificial Love. Rather He is Hope. He is Abundant Life. He is Sacrificial Love.

This proved to be another fabulous Easter weekend filled with meaningful connection with friends {more on that in the next post}, and most importantly, time for reflection on the precious gift Christ gave me ... and you.

I always anticipate our Good Friday evening service; a darkened, candle-lit sanctuary which sets a somber, yet hope-filled mood, leading us into reflection on the act of Jesus' death on the cross. It's beautiful, really. Sort of a subtle-yet-somehow-completely-in-your-face reminder of the incredible price Jesus paid ... separation from His father ... death on a cross ... a cruel, cruel, death ...

I guess the thing I love is that I know the end of the story... You know, the part about three days later when Jesus RISES FROM THE DEAD. Ya, THAT amazing, incredible, only-God-could-do-it part. While Friday produces a heavy feeling inside, there's that part of me that knows the Sunday secret ... the Jesus-IS-alive secret ... and I can barely stand waiting until we wake up on Easter morning. The first thing we say to each other is "HAPPY EASTER."

He is RISEN. He is risen, indeed.

I can't get to 'church' fast enough on Easter Sunday. I want to run there {and trust me, it's not often that I say I want to run} to be with others that want to celebrate the VICTORY of Jesus conquering death. And today's service was so significant. The music was both meaningful and powerful. And Pastor Eric took a fresh approach to Easter ... I loved how he shared that even if you don't believe that the resurrection is true you should WANT to believe it to be true. The resurrection of Christ is the beginning of us being UNITED back to God's original intent of living in right relationship with Him.

Ephesians 2:4-10 says this:
"But God is SO RICH IN MERCY, and HE LOVED US SO MUCH, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are UNITED with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His GRACE and KINDNESS toward us, as shown in ALL He has done for us who are UNITED with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by His GRACE when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a GIFT FROM GOD. Salvation is NOT a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's MASTERPIECE. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things HE planned for us long ago."

The reality is, I am not who I was ... because I am UNITED IN CHRIST. I am a new creature. Already. So I should live every day as that new creation. I should live as God insists that I am. I am loved. I am treasured. I am His masterpiece. That's crazy, eh? His masterpiece. I have always loved that verse in the Bible. God is this amazing artist and you and I are His masterpieces. Very, very meaningful.

HE IS RISEN. HE IS RISEN INDEED.

Comments

Alice said…
You know I'm with ya, sister! I think the first time I lost it yesterday was at the beginning of the service when, before stating the creed, the pastor asked, "Children of the resurrection, what do you believe?!" Awesome. So glad you had a wonderful Easter too!
Mae said…
Great post. Thanks.
Anonymous said…
Easter is my favorite holiday (holy day) as well. Always has been. I am so glad you had such a great day and service.

Dad

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