Learning To Love Easter


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I have always LOVED Christmas! Yes … I know it’s Easter and I LOVE Easter too! But the truth is I can’t separate the two. I Love to celebrate when He was born, when He died, and, when He conquered the grave (as pertains to me and this humble little life)! My friend Mary Beth once wrote, “I can’t look at the manger without seeing the cross!” I totally get that, how all history was interrupted at the birth of “God with us.” Like I said I have always loved Christmas, and now I love Easter. But it has not always been that way.

When I was growing up we were “Sunday Christians.” I would dread Easter morning when we would have to dress up, go to church, and hear the same ol’ Easter story about how Jesus died for us (in my cute ruffled socks and paten leather shoes). I would listen to the preacher teach how I should accept Jesus if I didn’t want to go to hell. Seriously when you are offered heaven or hell, it’s kind of a no brainer, Umm heaven please. It wasn’t until after I graduated high school I had a true salvation experience in which I surrendered my heart and life to the lordship of Jesus that I understood what really happened at the cross. This time instead of choosing heaven or hell, it was about choosing Jesus. All my other salvation experiences were always motivated by the fear of hell. I would say the prayer … again … hoping it would erase every bad thing I had done between then and the last time I had said the prayer, yet not really willing to make any lasting changes.

Well, this weekend is Easter and I’m back in a my reflective mode. I’ve bought all my children’s Easter baskets and my heart is full of wanting them to really get it … why we celebrate Easter. That in the beginning on the sixth day, God created humanity, He could have made some perfect being that was programmed to love without the ability to choose love. Instead He created us with choice and personality. Then sin came into the picture and daily it was like humanity’s heart grew further and further away from its creator. I often wonder if sometimes God didn’t fully understand us even though He created us. Humans die … God will never die. To put it plainly God and humans are different. Men have unsuccessfully tried to be God and failed, yet God successful became man. It’s crazy that all the pain we experience in our humanity he experienced to understand us, to ultimately redeem us from death (albeit for eternity but, I would venture to say even in our everyday life). My good friend and I were talking and she showed me that Jesus didn’t go around telling people with words “I love you” (He has never been quoted telling the disciples the phrase “I love you”) but, he showed love through His actions and obviously His greatest action of laying down His life for us. 
I now think of heaven as a bonus instead of an alternate to hell. I think about how it will feel to see Jesus face to face, and worship with the multitudes before God’s throne. Finally my heart is looking forward to it.

Right now, after 16 years of choosing Him daily, what I’ve come to understand is that because of what Jesus did, I’m made right with God. I’m hidden in Jesus, God doesn’t see me anymore (in all my imperfections) He just sees Jesus. His Holy Spirit gives me the strength to be the best me I can be. I know that I love to hear His voice everyday. At this point in the journey, I don’t think I could live without His voice. I KNOW who I was without Him and I am ever aware that without Jesus I would have nothing I have. First of all, life and friendship with God’s precious Holy Spirit with all the benefits of His divine instruction and guidance, grace, wisdom, mercy … seriously this could go on and on. Second my husband (whose love for me always rocks my world) and my four sons who are such gifts to our lives. I totally get this is an easy revelation for an ex-drug addict but He also died for the “good” people that haven’t struggled with outwardly bad actions. But, in our hearts we ALL have a sin nature we struggle with and freedom and salvation are equal to those who have sinned much and those who sin little. Death was an inevitable consequence to all levels of sin. I truly believe that repentance and the receiving of forgiveness have the same impact for both.

So, I love Easter because He died for me, even in my worst sin His actions have always said to me I LOVE YOU!

I’m not in my worst sin now, but sometimes I have a really bad day home schooling. I have become frustrated with my kids and I want to beat myself up for it. I have times when I get defensive with my husband and inside I feel like I fail who I want to be. In every bad day Easter represents HE LOVES ME!!! He talks to me and helps me become the person I want to be even when I fail and that’s HUGE! I’m okay with people knowing that I’m not perfect. It’s way too much pressure and well, He never asked me to be perfect. He just asked me to rest in Him, the only ONE who truly IS perfect. In that place of rest no matter which direction I look, it all looks like freedom. I’m grateful and in awe of His mercy. It’s at the foot of the cross I’ve fallen in love with Jesus and all that He is to me!  It has made me LOVE Easter and come to know what it truly means to celebrate the cross!


We all have amazing stories of ALL you have done for us … all starting with the cross you bore. We are so grateful you were born into humanity and that you really know us … like really know us. You have felt all the feelings that we have felt to identify with us and yet You didn’t stop there, You lived this life out without sin so you could ransom us from ours. That kind of selfless love blows my mind, how could we not be totally humbled by it. Give us greater revelation this Easter of all that Your love has accomplished for us and what it wants to continue to accomplish in us. We gratefully thank you and revel in All you’ve done for us this Easter! We love you!


With the Greatest Love!,

~ Ris

You can also see this at: Destiny in Bloom

1 comment

  1. Becki Sapien-Melchor

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