Easter is a very emotional time for me.
In the past, I would feel overwhelming sorrow when I imagined the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. No one can watch someone they love endure hardship without feeling some of their pain. Though I knew the necessity of His death and God’s great plan of redemption, I still shook my head and cried at the cruelty and injustice. That was until last year when God showed me that my response was incomplete.
I was not raised in a Christian home. I didn’t grow up in church. I still have a lot to learn about the faith including Easter. It’s not a holiday I grew up recognizing so we don’t have many established traditions in our household to celebrate that time of year apart from attending church services. Each year, after coming to faith in Christ, I tried something new and kept it if it added value. I tried changing up our menu too so it’s a bit more special, like Christmas, but nothing has really stuck. I love the comfort of traditions so this bothers me somewhat.
One thing we do with the kids is watch a Veggie Tales movie called An Easter Carol. We likely won’t watch it this year though because one of the three musketeers damaged the dvd. Kids. Maybe we can stream it online somewhere. Anyway, the story is similar to Dicken’s A Christmas Carol and it’s about the true meaning of Easter – not eggs, bunnies and chocolate, although all that’s fun, but about the hope we have in Christ.
The main character is Nezzer, the owner of an Easter egg factory. Following the death of his grandmother, who loved Easter, he hatched plans to create an Easter-themed amusement park in her honour. He planned to tear down the town’s church so that he could build it in that location. He completely missed the point of what Easter was all about; despite his grandmother’s teachings.
He’s visited by an angel named Hope who leads him through his past, present and future. She shows him the impact of tearing down the church where the message of hope is proclaimed. She sings this beautiful song using the depictions in the church’s stained class windows, that Nezzer’s grandmother commissioned before she died, to tell the story of Easter. The last part is always a tearjerker for me; yes, I’m tearing up right now just remembering it. I’ll include it below so you can cry too.
The last piece of stained glass shows the risen Christ and she sings of how God made a way for all who mourn and grieve. Death will never be the end, if we just believe. There is nothing left to fear. He died for us to give us life and He rose to give us hope.
The things God teaches us through Children’s movies. I just love it!
This really helped to switch my perspective to one that is more celebratory. To add to that, the church I attend led an Easter service last year that really emphasized that point. We lifted our voices in worship, praising Him that He defeated death. I had been so focused on the cross and His suffering that my sorrow completely eclipsed His accomplishment and I missed out on the marvel of His resurrection.
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.Hebrews 2:14,15
This month, I’m reading through a devotional by Illustrated Faith called From Where I Stand. It invites us to read through the Easter events and imagine it from the perspective of Mary Magdalene. I can imagine her sorrow as she witnessed His crucifixion. Her grief in the days that followed. And her joy when He had risen. I was led to the song below and reminded of my own experience of being blinded by sorrow.
Having this perspective helps us to live boldly!
We can follow the example of Jesus in being obedient to the Father. What is He calling you to today? What are you facing that is hard and unbearable? Can you look at it from a perspective that sees God’s will in it and how He’s growing you through it all? I pray that you will lean into it with a heart of gratitude and celebrate what’s being done.
Joy & Peace, and Happy Easter, Sister!