A Bittersweet Celebration

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-8 NIV

 

Easter is always a difficult day for me. It’s a day of sadness and joy, both bitter and sweet at the same time.

The joy, of course, is from the incredible celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. It is a day of worship and gratitude for all He has done to procure our souls for eternity with Him in paradise. We celebrate because we know Jesus and want only to show the world how much we love Him and how much we honor His selfless, un-repayable sacrifice.

Church is overflowing with people glowing in Worship, as well as those whose hearts are still searching for why we are so in love with Jesus. I am joined by many, I’m sure, in prayer for those who still don’t understand, for those whose hearts are still unsure if this Jesus guy is all the Bible says He is. We pray for something, anything, in this service to touch their hearts, to reach the depths of their souls. We pray a certain song, or a few words of the sermon will draw them in. We pray something will make them want to understand why we lift our hands in praise and why we sing at the top of our lungs, “Hosanna in the highest!”

The joy of the resurrection is moved aside as I see the images in my mind of the tremendous torture Jesus had to endure for our sake. It brings me to uncontrollable tears as the Pastor reads the words that describe the pain and suffering Jesus willingly took on so we would be forgiven by our Heavenly Father for our multitude of sins.

I still do not understand why we call the day three days prior, “Good Friday.”  I understand the reason in my head, but it still makes no sense in my heart. To me, there is nothing “good” about what Jesus endured. I feel so helpless in knowing there is nothing I can do to wipe away the blood, tears, and pain of the One I worship and adore. My gratitude is beyond words.

Oh what an incredible day of joy, mixed with the sadness of suffering and the sorrow of knowing there are still so many so far from understanding the saving grace of Jesus.

And yet, we celebrate, as we should. We celebrate our lives once lost to sin and eternal punishment, now also resurrected into eternal life. We praise the Lord for salvation so undeserved. We stand with arms stretched toward the heavens in praise and worship of the One who loves us that much.

Easter, a celebration? Oh yes! A celebration of Jesus’ victory over evil, His victory over sin, and His victory over death. He has risen! What a glorious day! 

Heavenly Father, we are so unworthy of You and Your Son, yet we stand in awe of how much You love us. “Thank You” seems inadequate, yet we say just that. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Please dear Father, help us to never forget Easter. As each new day dawns, may we remember Your sacrifice and never forget our duty to show others how much You love them too. In Jesus’ matchless name, amen.

Will you commit with me to remember the Easter celebration every day? He is risen and the Holy Spirit resides in each of us! What a glorious day!

In His embrace,

Toni

Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you. Just click the comment link below to share your thoughts.

 

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2 comments to A Bittersweet Celebration

  • Monica  says:

    I do commit to remembering Easter everyday with you Toni. I can’t understand why HE did what HE did for all of us, I mean I understand somewhat, but then again I don’t, but I am truly thankful and am sometimes very frustrated with myself for not being able to always behave in a thankful manner, like when I fall short of HIS glory in my words, thoughts or actions, but then I realize, HIS love for me is sooo strong, that HE went through all of that pain for me and others, I worship HIM with my life and everyday and every moment HE is on my mind. Thank You LORD JESUS!!!! God bless you sister Toni and your beautiful ministry, what a blessing you are to me and the Kingdom of GOD!!!

    • Toni  says:

      Thankfully Monica, we have a fresh start every day. The sacrifice so freely given for our short comings amazes me too. I, like you, have no way of showing my gratitude in the fullness that it is, but do try to show Him my love and gratitude all the time. Go glad to know we are all in this together! Yay God!

      God bless you Monica!!

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