Looking back on my childhood, I remember Easter as being a favorite holiday. The snow had melted, flowers were popping out of the ground and we were shedding our heavy winter clothing. My mother always made us new “Easter” outfits. I remember one year my mother just finished making me a new outfit, a beautiful lavender and white suit. We headed out to the stores to purchase a hat and shoes to match. My sister had a pink outfit designed and made by my mother. I couldn’t wait till Easter Sunday church service to wear my new outfit.
There were many preparations involving food. Every year we made coconut eggs dipped in chocolate, my favorite. I could often be found dipping my finger into the coconut mix.
Wait a minute! There is something wrong here. Isn’t this the time of year that we focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus? Let’s stop and think a little deeper.
Distracted by Many Things
When I was younger, many things distracted me at “Easter” time. The church my family was affiliated with had many preparations in the weeks before Easter. We met regularly as a group to remember the sufferings of Jesus in His betrayal, trials and crucifixion. There was much talk of His glorious resurrection.
One would think that my heart and mind would have been spiritually focused to praise God as I remembered the sacrifice of Jesus and His resurrection. However, I have to say, while I did give that thought, I was very distracted by other preparations.
My mother was an excellent seamstress, and every year, out of a very generous heart, she would make beautiful Easter outfits for my sister and me. I can remember many of the suits, dresses, even springtime coats. The materials were beautiful pastel colors expertly sewn. I remember one year a beautiful dress with a matching cape. There were, of course, hats with ribbons and flowers, and also shoes to match. I couldn’t wait to go to the Easter church service to wear my new outfit.
In addition to an outfit, we always received an Easter basket full of delicious treats. One year the whole basket was made of chocolate!
This is a sad commentary on my spiritual state. It wasn’t until years later that I began to value the sacrifice of Jesus not only at the time of Easter but daily.
While I grew up around the story of Jesus and had inclinations to spiritual matters of the heart, I was often distracted by things of the world and my “self.” As I began to read the Bible I began to see what my state really was before God.
No one wants to talk about sin today. It is considered an unsophisticated, antiquated topic associated with fire and brimstone preachers in gospel meeting tents.
The truth is when I began to see my sin, the depth and breadth of my sinful nature, then I began to understand and appreciate the sacrifice, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. To this day, when I see my sin, this principle holds the same for me.
Look to Jesus
At this time of year, when people are in some way thinking of Jesus, make a decision to avoid distractions of the holiday and family plans. Take some time to meditate on Jesus and His sacrifice and what it means to you. If you dare, I encourage you to pray and ask God to show you your sin and your sinful nature.
But don’t stop at your sin, because without looking to God our sin is depressing. Look upon the cross at the sacrificial Lamb, at His death and resurrection. Meditate on some of the passages below. These truths will focus your heart on Jesus, and remind you of the true blessings we have received from His death and resurrection.
Be Still and Know
“God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that
in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
“He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
“Long ago, even before He made the world, God chose us to be His very own through what Christ would do for us; He decided then to make us holy in His eyes, without a single fault—
we who stand before Him covered with His love. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us.
And He did this because He wanted to!” Ephesians 1:4-5 (TLB)
“… For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith…” Romans 3:23-25a
“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” Rom. 5:10
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9