Good Friday

     It seems unbelievable that we are approaching Easter, yet the chocolate bunnies and brightly colored eggs are a constant reminder in every store. Didn’t we just get the Christmas decorations back in the attic? Now, here comes Peter Cotton Tail!  Sad to think that for so many people, that is what Easter will be about–  candy, baskets, plastic eggs, and Easter egg hunts. Now, I have no problem with Easter egg hunts. Our church had one last weekend and the children had a blast.  One child was totally shocked to hear that, when I was young, we colored and hunted real eggs.  Wow! A lost art! I remember thinking the different colors of dye would never wear off my hands. Those were the days!
    I think Easter just kind of sneaks up on us.  The day and month change from year to year depending on, well, the moon. Sometimes the day falls in March, sometimes in April.  Unlike Christmas we don’t start thinking and planning for the holiday weeks in advance.  Usually it is the appearance of the Easter paraphenalia that prompts us to inquire about the holiday’s date.  Guilty as charged of all of the above! However, this year I am approaching Easter with a different mindset.  This year my mind is more than ever set on honoring the true significance of Easter.
     On Sunday, we as believers in Christ celebrate the resurrection of God’s son, Jesus, from death and the grave after he was crucified on the cross for our sins. This act of sacrificial love, this unfathomable suffering paid the debt that we owe for sins past and present. For those who believe, we are rescued from an eternity in hell to everlasting life with God, who adopts us as His own children for whom He has nothing but unconditional love. Praise God!  What a wonderful day of celebration and worship that day should be for us. “He is not here. He is risen.”  That was the message the angel had for the women upon their arrival at the empty tomb. However, somewhere between getting the family dressed in their new outfits and deciding where to eat, it seems we may take all of this a bit for granted. We know all the facts, but do we truly reflect on what Jesus did, how God sacrificed His only son on our behalf.  The awesomness of it all!
     And what of Good Friday?  Yea! A paid holiday for many, a day to make preparations for Sunday and spend time with family.  All that sounds good to me. But wait! When was the last time you really thought about what happened on Good Friday and how it is all connected to Easter?  That day was a good one for us, but it was not a “good day” for Jesus or God, his father.  That was the day of our redemption from sin and death, but it was a day of untold physical suffering for Jesus and untold grief for God, His father, who witnessed it.  Now, I know that all this ultimately worked together for good, our good just as God had planned, but moment by moment there was much agony experienced on our behalf.  This will give me pause to thank God and acknowledge what my Savior, Jesus, did for me this Good Friday.
     I hope you have a great Easter!  Enjoy your family, find those eggs but, most of all, let your thoughts this Easter be focused first on the cross and then on the empty tomb.  We have so much to celebrate. God is so good! Worship Him with all that you are and all that you do, not only at Easter, but always. It will just be our warm-up for heaven. To God be the glory great things He has done!

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