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Thursday, April 21, 2011

He is Risen!

Just like winter means Christmas (i.e. Santa, presents, shopping, & stress) to many, spring means Easter (oh, I mean "spring break") full of colorful eggs, bunnies, baskets overflowing with yummy treats, and new pretty dresses. And just like I find myself falling into the stress-filled trap each Christmas, I find myself doing it at Easter too. Last year, I went crazy shopping for the perfect dress for Leah, while this year it was all about the shoes! Yes, this mother-of-the-year took her feverish princess on an afternoon of shopping to get just the right pair white shoes. Well, with our mission accomplished, I was able to spend some time this afternoon doing my Easter tradition: watching The Passion of the Christ.

Each year since its release I dust off the DVD and watch this amazing movie by myself. It's my time to not only reflect, but to get lost in the depths of pain, anguish, suffering & sadness that Jesus took on for me. From the opening scene in the garden, the gut-wrenching torture is evident, first with his soul as he wrestles with God about what it to come; and then with the physical as he is beaten and scourged. It is this scene, where he is taken, stripped, whipped and then scourged with a cat-of-nine-tails that I break down every time. Watching Jesus, innocent of any sin, beaten beyond recognition, quietly asking Abba Father to forgive them (forgive me) for what they (for what I) was doing to him. I make this a very personal thing each time (which is why I choose to watch it alone). Every time he is beaten, every time he is mocked, every time he is whipped I see one of my sins doing that to him; knowing that while he was enduring this unmeasurable pain, I was on his mind, and so were you. He loves me (and you) that much; that if this was God's plan to ensure that the bonds of sins were broken, that a way was made available for us to spend eternity with Him, then Jesus was willing to carry a cross on his broken, bleeding body up a hill, be nailed to that cross, have his Father turn his back on him, and die. That's how much he loves us! That's how much he loves me! And the best part...Jesus didn't stay in the grave! He rose, just as it was written, conquering sin & death. Now the only thing that can separate us from the love of God and an eternity with Him, is our own unwillingness to accept what He did for us. There is nothing we could ever do to earn it. It's free, already paid for with the precious blood of Jesus.

May you see this Easter for the love story that it truly is. He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!!

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