Showing posts with label Resurrection Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resurrection Day. Show all posts

What Came After

Yesterday was Good Friday.  Tomorrow is Resurrection Day.  

I don't like to let this time of year go past without saying something on my blog about why we celebrate.  It isn't because of the arrival of spring, or to give honor to bunny rabbits while we stuff ourselves with boiled eggs and Peeps.  All that stuff can be fun, but the real reason we celebrate Easter, as Christians, is to remember our Savior.  His death.  And how He came to life again, to save us!

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This is the seventh Easter that I've celebrated since I've been blogging.  That's a lot of posts to come up with over the years. 

This is the most important holiday to me, even more than Christmas.  Without Christ's death and resurrection, we could not be saved.  That's huge, and I want to always spend time reflecting on what Jesus did for us.

So on Thursday I grabbed my old hymnal, hoping to glean some inspiration while the kids were napping.  I read through so many hymns.  I couldn't find a single one to use today, mostly because I've shared all my favorites before.

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Finally I just put the hymnal aside, and sat there thinking.  I thought about how Jesus lived His life on earth all those years knowing what was coming.  And I wondered how He felt when He thought about the death He was going to die.

I just had a baby a few months ago.  As silly as it is, the thing that flashed through my mind was how I felt late last year.  I knew labor was coming soon.  I knew how it would feel since I experienced it once already with Wyatt.  And last year, as I waited, I felt anxious and scared when I thought about it.  

But I also thought about what was to come after.  I knew at the end I'd be holding a beautiful baby, and I tried to think of that instead.

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As bad as labor pains can be, crucifixion is worse.  It's the most painful way to die, and not only was there the physical pain for Jesus, but there was also all the pain and isolation that would come when the sins of everyone in history were laid upon His shoulders.  It can't be compared to labor - I know it was much worse.  

And Jesus knew that.  How did He feel when He thought about it?  Was He scared?

I think in His humanness He was, a little bit.  I think that's why He prayed asking God if there was some other way.

But I think Jesus also thought about what was to come after.  The Life He would give us when He rose again.  

And that was worth it to Him.


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In the words of my hymnal . . .

Jesus Paid It All.  On Good Friday.

And tomorrow? We remember that Christ Our Lord Is Risen Today!

Hallelujah!  What a Savior.

Easter 2012


 

We had a lovely Easter together as a family yesterday!  We went to our church service, which was wonderful and joyful, just like I would expect it to be on Easter Sunday.  I wanted to go to the sunrise service that we normally attend, but I figured being wakened early and going out into the dark and cold might be a little much for Wyatt this year.  We might try it next year.

After church we went out to lunch with Derek’s side of the family.  I was going to take pictures of Wyatt with his cousins, but we only got a family picture and picture of Derek and Wyatt before my camera battery died.  Now I think I need a spare for just such occasions.

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After lunch we went home, put Wyatt down for a nap, and then Derek and I spent the afternoon reading, watching a couple episodes of Monk, and I took a nap.  It was very low-key and perfect for this year.

After Wyatt woke up from his nap I gave him his Easter basket!

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In his Easter basket I put “The Sunflower Parable” by Liz Curtis Higgs, Lady and the Tramp, bendable Easter bunny toys, a bunny stuffed animal, and balls.  And plastic eggs which I filled with yogurt melts.  Wyatt hasn’t had yogurt melts before, and I thought he’d like them, but he proved me wrong.

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We might try them again today, when he’s more hungry.

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Overall it was a lovely, relaxed Easter Sunday, and it was perfect to slow down and remember our Jesus is Risen!  I hope each of you had just as good a time celebrating our Savior!



His Glorious Light

 

Easter has snuck up on me this year.

In a normal year I’d have eggs decorated, items bought for Wyatt’s Easter basket, and plans already in place for Easter Sunday.  But this year I have been very unprepared.

I was laying in bed on Tuesday night of this past week, thinking about how un-festive this Easter season has been at our house.  But more than that, I was frustrated because I felt like my heart has been so unprepared to celebrate my Savior’s resurrection this year. 

Normally I have more opportunities to ponder about what Jesus went through as He rode into Jerusalem before His betrayal and crucifixion, what agony He must have experienced as He died for my sins, how thrilling it must have been for Mary Magdalene and the disciples on that day when they realized He was alive! 

But we missed church last Sunday because Derek and Wyatt were sick, and I  had no other teaching or devotions (as it seems I normally encounter this time of year) to focus my heart on Him this week. 

And if that weren’t enough, over and over again this week I was being stricken with the realization of what a dark world this really is.  It settled over me like a fog, and I was having a hard time focusing on the goodness and beauty and light that Resurrection week should bring, feeling oppressed by the darkness of this world that is not my home.

But as I was laying in bed in the middle of the night, thinking all of this over, I let my mind wander over the story of Jesus’ resurrection one more time.  And I thought how appropriate it was that Jesus rose from the dead early in the morning, as the sun was rising.

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Every day, since God established time, the sun rises.  Every day, it peeks up over the horizon and without even trying it has victory over the night.  The dark has no defense against such radiant light, and it disappears without any trace.

Nothing must have been so dark as the Son of God dying on that cross.  Dying because of our sin.

  But then . . . Jesus rose and defeated sin and death, just as the sun was rising on that Easter morning so long ago.  Death has no more victory – darkness cannot stand against His glorious light.

Even though those of us who believe in Him still have to live here in this dark world, we have the victory over death and sin and darkness, because we have Him.  Jesus, the ultimate victor, the One who saves us, has the victory! 

He died and rose to save me, I belong to Him.  And now, though I may be grieved by the spiritual darkness around me, I am reminded that this world is not my home.  The darkness will not overcome me because Jesus already overcame the darkness for me!  He has filled my heart with His light from the moment He washed my sins away.

Someday He will come back and take the darkness away from us forever – and there will be nothing left but His light, and His love, and His grace.  If we believe in Him we will get to enjoy that for eternity.

Until then, I’ll let the sunrise remind me that the victory has already been won – our Jesus has the victory!  And nothing can change that, no spiritual darkness can snuff out that Light.

Because He is Lord, and He is risen!

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I wish you a Happy Resurrection Day, my friends!  I pray you each know Jesus, and may you be overwhelmed with His light and His grace this Easter.


 

P.S. I have to admit that I didn’t take that picture in the morning, but the light was so pretty shining through those blossoms that I thought it seemed an appropriate picture for this post!

First Easter As A Family

We had a lovely Easter! I'll just let the pictures do most of the talking.

We colored eggs on Saturday, but Wyatt wanted nothing to do with it (this is what happens when we go the entire morning without a nap).







Random pictures of the process . . .







The lovely eggs we dyed! Derek and I made one for each other, and I made a couple for Wyatt's Easter basket too.




Wyatt's first Easter basket!




Contents: Two Bible story books (Derek and I each wrote a note inside them), Peeps (because every Easter basket needs some Peeps), a ball cap, a blue ball, and two hard-boiled eggs that I colored for him.




Wyatt in his Easter outfit with his basket! I made those shoes he's wearing for him, but he only wore them for this picture because they were a smidge too small. More on that in a different post.




Family picture!




We had Easter dinner at my mom's house and watched "Tangled" after dinner. This is Derek and me on the couch (the place that I live right now - the couch, that is).




My mom and dad with the Easter basket they gave Wyatt - I love the camo!




One more family picture!




A pretty good first Resurrection Day as a family, I think!

Posts For Resurrection Day

I always like reading the Good Friday and Easter posts this time of year. Jesus's death and resurrection is something that should be remembered well and celebrated with gusto for those of us who believe in Him!

The meaning behind Resurrection Day is just as significant as Christmas, or more so - because without His sacrifice, we could not be justified, and without His resurrection, we could not be saved.

That's pretty big.

Here are some good posts from some blogging friends of mine. Enjoy!


"God keeps reminding me - of what value is my bitterness, impatience or resentment in light of the cross?" -Chloe, In Light Of The Cross

"And then I had an epiphany. I realized that there is no adequate response. There is no way we could ever begin to express our gratitude or try to give something in return that would even be close, and that to try to muster up the right feelings or emotions is just trying to earn grace." -Anne, Good Friday

"Although our hearts should be intentional on praising God every day for this grace He provided through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross...today is a day that we should reevaluate our hearts and truly consider if we are living grace-filled, thankful lives for what our sweet Savior did for each.one.of.us." -Cait, Not Just Any Friday

"As a mother, this Easter means something different to me. I think of Jesus' mother Mary, watching her perfect child as He walked carrying the heavy cross in which He'd be crucified on. I cringe just at the thought of her pain and watching her son suffer knowing that there was nothing she could do to prevent what was to happen." -Meghan, in an untitled Good Friday post.

"I reflect on my brokenness and his sacrifice today...and tomorrow I sing praises in honor of his resurrection and that he is alive! Death could not claim him and the tomb could not contain him - and now we too are victorious over it as well." -Page, Carried To The Table

I hope that you each take time this Resurrection Day to reflect on and celebrate the incredible love and grace our Savior has shown us!

There is nothing more beautiful to be found in life than that.

He is Risen!

He is Risen indeed.


Recognizing The King

"When Princess Elizabeth and the Duke Of Edinburgh were married in 1947, many of the streets and parks of London were crowded with people, including royalty from all over the world. King Faisal II, the twelve year old king of Iraq, was there as well, but was not dressed in his finery. He was more interested in the prancing horses. When he pushed his way through the line of policemen to get a better view of the stallions, he was handled roughly. The next day an apology was printed in the papers, saying "King Faisal, we didn't know who you were."

I read the above story in a book entitled, Almost Empty: An Inside Look At The Passion Week by Stephen Davey. The story was shared after a discussion of some of Jesus last words, when he said "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)

The story made me think. Little King Faisal was treated roughly because they didn't know he was the king.

When Jesus was crucified, the people who did it did not know that they were killing The King of Kings. He was not dressed in His heavenly "finery". He looked like any other man.

When the policemen of London realized their mistake, they were repentant because they had treated the young king is such a way.

It makes me wonder, did any of those who were there at the crucifixion later realize their mistake? How did they feel? Did they cry in prayer to our Lord and repent because "King Jesus, we didn't know Who You were."?

Whether or not those who actually did the deed realized their mistake, they were not the only ones guilty. I am guilty. So are you. Each one of us put Jesus there on the cross with our own sin. He died to pay for it. We may as well have put the nails in His hands ourselves.

The difference is, King Faisal had no control over how he was treated and probably made a fuss about the treatment he received, because he knew he shouldn't be treated that way as a king.

But Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him - he was in control of it. He chose that horrible mistreatment and torture in order to save us when we couldn't save ourselves.

What incredible love.

I'm sure King Faisal probably had to go through some sort of process to prove that he really was the king. Jesus also proved His true identity by coming back to life on the third day after his death!

Have you recognized Jesus for Who He really is? Have you received His forgiveness for the sins that put Him on that cross?

I don't know how King Faisal reacted to the apology in the London newspaper. But I know how Jesus reacts when we come to Him with a repentant heart for what we have done.

He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west and welcomes us with open arms.

Just some food for thought on this Good Friday. May you all have a blessed Resurrection Day!

Amazing Love! How can it be? That thou my God shouldst die for me! -Charles Wesley

A Beautiful Easter

Derek and I had a lovely Easter! We woke up at 5:00 and went to a sunrise service at a Christian camp near our house. I have alot of good memories at that camp - I was a camper there nine (?) different summers, I worked as a CIT (Counselor In Training) two summers, and I was a counselor there one summer (my favorite summer there I think). They do a sunrise service every year and have breakfast afterwards (with the best cinnamon rolls!). We went to the service and it was actually not too cold - the service is held outside on the hillside so we can watch the sunrise. I love it, because it makes you think what it was like that mornin g in the garden where the tomb was. We sang my favorite Easter hymn. Please see the previous post!

We came back home and got ready for the rest of the day, then we went and met Derek's parents for breakfast at Village Inn. Afterwards we went and spent a little time at Barnes and Nobles and visited there too. We had a really nice time visiting with them! My mother-in-law even bought us a book, which I thought was so sweet.

Derek and I ended up having a couple of hours to kill in town, because we met my family later on in the afternoon at the funnest restaurant ever! It's themed like Mexico, and the decor is fabulous! It really feels like you're on vacation. They have palm trees and Christmas lights, and a huge waterfall! There are divers, and they do these little shows too. There's all different atmospheres for the different seating areas, from caves, to mines, to really fancy spanish decor, to tropical forest! It's really cool. They also have an arcade, a spooky cave (Black Bart's Hideaway), a gift shop, an old time picture booth, one of those people that draws caricatures . . . all in the restuarant!

We had a fun time there with my parents and siblings and our friend Brad. I took pictures!

After the restaurant we all went to my parents house and had dessert and played a game. By the time we got up here again it was snowing (yes, snowing)! On Easter! I tell you, we've either had bitter cold Easters, foggy Easters, or snowy Easter for the last few years. It's okay though, because I still got to wear my Easter outfit! Overall though it was a beautiful first married Easter, and we had a wonderful time with our families and remembering that our Lord is risen!


Me and my mom at dinner.


Derek and my dad.


My sister and her boyfriend!


My brother and my sister-in-law!


Josh and Brad.


Derek and me being scared at Black Bart's Cave. *chuckle* We're crazy and fun like that.


Us ladies at my parents house.






Some pictures of Derek and me.

"Christ Our Lord Is Risen Today"

This is my favorite Resurrection Day hymn, and I thought I'd share it here this morning. He is Risen! He is risen indeed.


Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Music: Lyra Davidica, 1708



Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun's eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He's King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!


Go to this link to hear the music to the song. I hope you all have a blessed Resurrection Day! Our Lord is Risen!

Egg Coloring Fun

Easter Egg Coloring! We got these cool sparkly eggs - Derek colored them and I added the sparkles! I cracked on of the eggs while I was adding sparkles and Derek joked that it needed a band-aid; then he went and got a band-aid for it! He makes me laugh.




















Coloring eggs is a fun Easter tradition, but more importantly is remembering what the Lord did for us this Easter season. I wrote this post on a Good Friday several years ago; I thought I would repost it now as another reminder of the reason we celebrate Resurrection Day! I hope you all are having a good Saturday, and I hope your Easter tomorrow is meaningful!
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