Easter- The Great Rescue

This year, the Gospel has been resonating loudly in my life, transforming my view of Jesus, my relationship with him, my relationships with others, my view of my sin, and my view of grace. We don't have the Gospel without Easter, and therefore, what better reason to celebrate.
As J.G. Machen said, "Jesus died- that's history. Jesus died for our sins- that's doctrine. Without these two elements there is no Christianity." My personal desire is to see our family joyfully and triumphantly celebrate Easter in a way that surpasses even Christmas and Jesus' birth- because without Easter, Christmas has no meaning.
If Christ is culture, let the sidewalks be lit with fire on Easter Eve, let traffic stop for a column of Christians waving palm branches on a spring morning, let streets be blocked off as the faithful gather for a Corpus Christi procession. Then will others know that there is another city in their midst, another commonwealth, one that has its face, like the face of angels, turned toward the face of God. - Robert Louis Wilken, First Things.
This year, we gathered next to friends at church to celebrate our risen Jesus. We raised our hands in praise of the One who has set us free, who has rescued us, who has used our greatest failures and greatest successes to glorify Himself, not to define us. Now that is a God I want to worship.

You see, Easter is the story of the Great Rescue.

Easter is a celebration of freedom for those who have become Christians. A celebration of being free from sin and free from the mess of ourselves. Free from the burden of trying or wanting to be good on our own. Free from the stress to be seen as worthy enough, as good enough. In our proud human nature, we want to have some part in our goodness, some part in our righteousness before God. Many Christians even wrongly view the Bible and its commands as a list of rules that tell you how to "be better" how to become "more good." But the truth is, we simply cannot be good on our own and God did not give us the law (rules) to make us good. It can't make us good. Anyone who has kept trying harder has found that they keep failing. That's because the law is not supposed to make us good. The law is given so that we will be crushed by it and see our need for a Savior (Jesus). "The law won't make us good. It will make us despair of ever being good enough, and in that way it will make us open to the love, sacrifice, and welcome of our Savior, Jesus Christ," (Give Them Grace, Elyse Fitzpatrick).

This does not mean we do not obey God and we do not seek His commands. God commands obedience. But we cannot heed His commands without completing the picture by including GRACE...by reminding ourselves again of the beautiful story of how Jesus kept the law PERFECTLY for us. And, if we are true Christians, if we have a relationship with Jesus, his record of perfection gets transfered to us.

Why is this good news? Why is this story of Easter the turning point of Christianity? Because Jesus keeping God's law perfectly is the basis for my entire being and life. Because of it, I am free. When I fail, when I sin, when I turn my back on what God asks of me, I can thank God that my relationship with Him isn't based on my obedience, but on Jesus' obedience. Even my sin and failures is an occasion to remind me that my Savior, Jesus, is praying for me, and that my sin won't ever separate me from Him, or His love for me. He continues to smile at me because I am His beloved child, with whom He is well pleased. I am continually assured that I am finally and fully good because of what JESUS has done.

Putting my faith in the goodness of another (Jesus) is my rescue story. It's my story of freedom. And my story would not be possible without Easter. So in light of this great rescue story, we celebrated! We did an Easter tree, we read stories about Jesus' walk to the cross, we did some crafts to have fun with what we were learning, we had a special Easter morning breakfast, we dressed up in some new clothes, and even took part in some cultural activities for fun, such as an Easter basket and an egg hunt.

Daddy reading the devotions during our Easter tree activities for Holy Week.

 Completed Easter tree
Our resurrection play-set made out of toilet paper rolls. Mekonen lasted about 3 minutes scribbling and then just wanted to use the glue stick, so Mommy had to finish the coloring! 
 Ready for Easter breakfast!
I love Evie yawning in the background. It was an early Easter morning! 
After church we spent the day with Jon's parents: Boppy and Grandma Magz
Easter baskets! I looove how Evie is holding up her egg. Too funny.
 Evie picked up real quickly on all the candy and kept swiping it by the handfuls! 
 Evie isn't quite steady enough walking to carry a basket and collect eggs, so Grandpa put her basket in a rolling plastic bin. It was hilarious. She pushed that thing around collecting her eggs. It was so cute! 
 Mekonen showcasing his basket from the Easter egg hunt.
 Checkin' out his goodies!

Easter is a triumphant celebration of the reason we can have a relationship with Jesus...his death and resurrection. My pursuit in our family is to give Easter its proper place in our life, not just another holiday. For without it, our story means nothing. I want to give my children a God they long to follow, a God that captivates their hearts and minds, and a God that they see and know as being as awe-inspiring as He truly is. Now that's a reason to celebrate.