As a child growing up, Easter meant a frilly new dress, pair of shoes and lacy socks. I remember my dresses were almost always some shade of yellow. Some years we also wore hats.
I loved dresses and to dress up so I looked forward to the new Easter attire every year. Still like to dress up once in a while but not quite so much.
We were also in church every Easter without fail. Easter egg hunting was after church and lunch. Many times it was at one of my grandmothers’ houses. Other times it was in the front yard at home.
Life just seemed more carefree then. Now it’s exasperating just trying to get everyone for Easter dinner with everyone’s schedules. We are too busy and keep our children involved in too much. And if you saw the 60 Minutes special over the weekend, the social media sites and our addiction to cell phones is destroying our brains. We need to actually talk to one another in person. I miss those days when things were not so complicated and family gatherings were closer to the top of the list of priorities.
But Easter is not about the bunnies or the brightly colored eggs and finding the prize egg. It’s not about the new dress or shoes. It’s about the cross and Christ’s sacrifice for us.
I wear a lot of cross jewelry because it reminds me of that sacrifice and how much he loved me though I deserved nothing. It doesn’t make me anymore of a Christian but it’s just a personal reminder for me.
In reality, it’s not the cross that’s so special anyway, it’s Jesus that is special. The cross just reminds us of His sacrifice. Sitting, contemplating that sacrifice and the horrific pain and death of crucifixion makes me cry. I have to remind myself that it was a necessary death. It was part of God’s plan to redeem mankind from its sin and destiny of hell.
No longer would there have to be blood sacrifices because Jesus was that last sacrifice whose blood covers all our sin. We could never do enough on our own to earn God’s favor. Jesus did it for us. He did it for all of us, whether you believe or not. But it’s up to you to choose to serve and accept Him. Not everyone will but we should strive to tell everyone about Him so they can make that choice. Sin will be punished if we don’t repent.
Christ redeemed us and his death on the cross says everyone of us are redeemable. Even the thief on the cross beside Him that day which the Jews thought unworthy of redemption was redeemed by Christ.
The veil of the temple was torn in two when He died, giving us personal access to Him. We no longer needed any man to intercede for us to God. We can have that personal access anytime. He atoned for our sins giving us the right to enter into the most holy place ourselves.
The cross changed our relationship to one of family with God. It offered us unconditional love and forgiveness when we ask and repent. His love sets us free from the chains which bind us.
His triumph over death on the cross gives us hope. Through accepting Him as our personal savior we have eternal life.
This sacrifice is one we should strive to pattern ourselves after. We, at least I know I will never be the perfect role model as Christ, I keep striving as we all should. Even on the cross He asked His Father in Heaven to forgive them for what they had done because they didn’t know what they were doing. We find it hard to forgive even the smallest transgression. If Christ could forgive his murderers, then we should be able to forgive whatever someone does to us.
Looking at the cross and what it means, none of us should be complaining about anything in our lives. Nothing like most of us experience is anything like Jesus experienced being scourged and then hung on the cross, legs broken, nails through feet and hands.
Jesus gave his mother to one of His disciples while He was on the cross. Showing us we need to take care of those people who depend on us. Even in our suffering, we need to be aware of other people in our lives who still need us and not expect them to suffer along with us.
Christ felt alone and abandoned and asked His Father why he had forsaken Him. We can feel that way at times, but God promises He will never abandon us. We just might not get the answer we want but He always hears us.
Acknowledging He was thirty showed His humanity and His humbleness and reminds us that there are times we need help from others. After all we are to bear each others’ burdens.
When Christ committed His spirit in God’s hands, it was an act of trust. He surrendered control to God and God’s will. Something we need to strive harder to achieve. If you’re struggling, release whatever it is to God and let Him work it all out. You’ll find peace. Think about what we can learn from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Easter blessings.
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org