This was actually a lot harder for me to write than I had originally imagined. The story of Jesus of Nazareth, His crucifixion and resurrection, is the most incredible story in history. In fact, we base our historical calendar around these events. It is a story that you just need to read for yourself to grasp it; the betrayal, the injustice, the cruelty of mankind, the kindness and meekness of God, the power, the sacrifice, and on and on. So many significant events happened within those three days that one must really know the story to understand basic Christianity.
As a young girl, I believed in God in the generic sense, but I did not really know who Jesus was and why it is important. When I was 12 or 13, my family and I visited a church that was putting on an Easter play. I still remember it’s name, “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames”. That night, I listened intently to the story of different people from different walks of life, and the misconceptions that many of us have about heaven. The points that really struck me were, “It doesn’t matter how much good you do, it can not get you into heaven. It does not matter if your parents or family are believers, you cannot follow them into heaven”. Everyone will stand alone before their Maker at the end of their life, according to the scriptures, and will be found guilty of sinning against Him. I remember something stirring inside me, like I was opening a door to a new path that would change my life forever.
Then the story of Easter was presented. How our God knew we could not escape the trap we had set up ourselves, and how He made the way possible by offering the only perfect, sinless person as a sacrifice for our sin. That is, Jesus, allowing Himself to be put on the cross, and taking our death sentence. Then, unlike any other prophet or religious leader before or since, He did something only God Himself could do, He rose from the dead! He was victorious over death and sin, for those who will confess with their mouth Jesus is Lord, and believes in their hearts that God has raised Him from the dead, they will be saved.
This night as a young pre-teen changed my life. I believed in this Jesus, I asked for God’s forgiveness of my sins, and the Holy Spirit truly came and began to live inside of me. The road that I walked after that day was pretty rocky for some years, and I wandered away from the path for a while. But He never abandoned me, and His Holy Spirit was constantly calling me to come back to where I knew I belonged.
To attempt to write about how this Jesus has affected me personally has been very humbling. This great man, God in the flesh, should really have nothing to do with me. I have done nothing worth His love, let alone worthy of His horrible death. However, He died specifically for me. He died for all who would believe on Him, that we may not have to suffer the same terrible fate for our own sin. He also died to show His great love and to glorify His name.
Now, I have four of my own children, and I am truly thankful to be able to celebrate this incredible event in our history with them. Each year I ponder the (seemingly intended) overlapping of spring and the remembrance of the event that gives new life possible. Leaves budding, flowers blooming, life is coming back to what appeared to be dead. And our Lord, breathes life into His children, who on all accounts seemed to have no hope, and were dead in their sins. Each year I am reminded of that day, so many years ago, when my Creator reached out to me, and became my Savior, my friend.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Listen, so that your soul may live,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
even the sure mercies of David.