Friday, April 22, 2011


Easter has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember.  When I was little, it was more about the fact that I loved Spring more than anytime of year, I loved all the blooming and new life in the air (although, the pollen ~ not so much), I loved going Easter dress shopping, getting my Easter basket full of goodies, the colorful, bright and cheerful decorations, going to my Granny's house for a big feast followed by an egg hunt {which would often be done more than once because we would beg for the eggs to be hidden one more time ;) }....and all of the things most kids love about Easter in our American culture.

When I became a Christian, the meaning of Easter made it even more special to me and my reasons for it continuing to be my favorite holiday shifted a bit.  I still go Easter shopping, still love the colorful, bright and cheerful decorations, I  now enjoy making Easter baskets for my children, I love our Easter picnic.....I still love it all.  But the significance of Holy Week, the sacrifice on Good Friday, and the hope, joy and victory of Resurrection Sunday causes everything else to take a back seat and pale in comparison.  I now look at the beauty of the flowers blooming and the new life springing up all around as a ♥sweet, sweet♥ reminder from my precious Savior of the Eternal life that is waiting for me, as a fragment of the beauty that I will so undeservedly behold when my journey through this temporary world is over and I reach my true Home.

Each year, I try my best to point out these things to my children, to show them how to see God's gifts all around us, and to impress upon them the meaning of Good Friday and the Victory on the Cross in a way that it will be forever implanted in their hearts.  Each year, without fail, they will ask (although by now they know the answer) WHY Easter is my favorite holiday ~ when many, including them, would choose Christmas.  They ask because they love to hear me tell the Story.  They, too, love to hear of the One who loves them more than any other.....and that He sacrificed everything for THEM.

This year the focus has been a little more difficult because my birthday falls on this most significant of days.  I've had mixed feelings about it all week, wanting the focus of today to be on Him and not me.  This is almost impossible with my three biggest fans, and my heart overflows with gratitude for the gift that they are to me, and for their excitement and determination to make "my" day make me feel special.

Each morning when I am trying to wake up {not a morning person ;) }, I grab my most bless-ed cup of coffee, check my email and read an online devotion or two while I wait for my brain to become functional.  This morning, several Good Friday devotions and videos waited for me in my Inbox and as I read and viewed them on the day that those who care about me celebrate my birth, I was overcome with gratefulness.  On this day, supposedly "my" day, it strikes me even harder that His sacrifice was indeed made for ME.  He gave His life for ME......everything was for ME.  And I am so undeserving.  So overwhelmed.  So..........blessed.

I recently pulled my old Bible from High School off the shelf, as I came across it looking for something else.  Oh, the memories that came flooding into my mind as I flipped through it, reading notes and looking at verses that I had underlined long ago.  I remember one of the things to do in our youth group was to choose a "life verse".  Some chose verses that told of Salvation.  Others chose verses of encouragement.  I chose a verse (actually two) that I wanted to signify my life in Christ, my hope for my walk with Him.

"....according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Philippians 1:20-21

Looking back on the years I've lived and choices I've made, there are some things I might change if I could.  My "life verse" will stay the same, however.  It is still what I hope my life will say in the end. I'm not sure if it will; I suppose I could ask those around me and they could tell me best.....but I don't think I will.  Their answers might depress me. ; )

 I participated in our church's Passion Play last week, and in our "Finale", the participants changed costumes and re-entered the sanctuary dressed as Saints, clothed in garments of white, bringing forth our crowns to offer to our King. On this Good Friday, I am struck by the fact that I don't deserve that robe of white.....and I wonder what kind of crown I will be able to lay at the feet of the One who gave His all for ME. 

And for YOU.  If YOU had been the only one in existence....He still would have done it. The scars He bore, He bore for YOU.  The death He died, He died for YOU.  The Enemy He defeated, He defeated for YOU.  His Victory can be yours, as it is mine.

My children have asked more than once, "Why is it called Good Friday?  It's the day that they killed Jesus.  That's not good at all."  For me, it is Good Friday because we have a Savior who was willing to take on our sins as His own, to pay the price that we couldn't pay.  It is Good Friday because He loved us so much and loves us still.  It is Good Friday because, as Christians, we know the story doesn't end on Friday.....we have the hope and victory of Sunday. 

It is GOOD, and it is True.  And because of this, there is coming a day when I will rise..........and until then I can have a song in my heart, a hope for things to come, and an appreciation and gratitude that comes from being able to see the bigger picture in all things.  This life is not the end.  It is just a path of stepping stones to my Life Eternal.  I will rise.  Because He did.  I hope and pray that you will, too.


ReadTidbits said...

Thank you for blessing me with these thoughts and reminders of OUR God and Savior! He's Alive!!!

Rebecca said...

Hi sweet friend....that was a beautiful post! Hope you are ok...miss chatting!