I’ve never been a huge fan of Easter. At least, not before. Christmas has always been pretty much my favorite, with holidays like the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving right behind. Even as a Christian, I would chalk Easter up to be a celebration mostly for children, with the overall good intention of sharing the Gospel.
But this year, something is different. I can’t quite put my finger on it- maybe it’s because I had a very messy first attempt at Lent, maybe it’s something about being a mother. Whatever it is, I’ve entered this Easter season a lot more thoughtful, a lot more grateful for the amazing sacrifice of Christ.
I know he is risen from the grave, and that the tragedy of my Savior happened over a thousand years ago, but none the less this past week I have been anxious for Sunday. The heaviness of the Holy Week is too much for me. I don’t want to mourn, or to remember the hurt. I want to celebrate and be happy. I want to ignore the pain of the past and move forward to the future.
There’s nothing wrong with looking forward to better things or celebrating what’s good, of course. But I think maybe I’ve been missing out on Easter because I’ve been so hesitant to reflect not just on my own faults and my own misgivings, but on the injustice our Lord faced to save my life.
So really, this Easter season has been oddly refreshing for my soul. Who would have thought that reflecting on pain, on suffering, on my own black heart would actually lead to thankfulness? It was always head knowledge that God makes all things new, but this year, I have experienced it first-hand.
My own sin, my selfishness nailed him to a cross. I hate to actually say it, it’s so much easier to point blame on others- on the Pharisees, on the Romans, on the Jews of that day. But no, it was me. And he was tortured, and humiliated, and shamed- for me. This week, ages ago, he thought of me and my sin as he walked towards his death. And as horrible, as shameful as that is for me to reflect on and attempt to understand, it makes his resurrection all the more reassuring, and all the more beautiful.
So today, Easter Sunday. I rejoice in his unfailing love, I rejoice in his resurrection. I don’t rejoice because it’s happy and wonderful (though it certainly is), but I rejoice because our King took the ugliness in my heart upon himself and claimed me as his own. The celebration today isn’t about something that happened years ago, but it’s about what happens every season, every day- where he takes the ugliest parts of me and molds me into something new.
How have you been changed or challenged this season?