Easter is about 4 weeks away. This year, I want my heart to be more focused on Easter as we approach Easter Sunday. I personally find that I do not celebrate Easter in a way that really gives credit for what it means to me as a follower of Jesus Christ.
I am really good about celebrating Christmas. We decorate the house for Christmas. We plan all sorts of family gatherings and celebrate the day our Savior was born. It is easy to celebrate Christmas isn’t it? The lights, the food and presents all make for a fun holiday. It is easy to talk with our children about a little baby coming in a stable. It is easy to celebrate with the shepherds the Good News they heard announced by the angels. In fact at our house last year, my husband spent almost a full year going over all the different characters of the Christmas story with our children. They used Oatmeal containers and made all the different people. It was quite fun and cute. They all did a very good job.
Celebrating Easter in the same way can be a challenge. Especially when the house is filled with young children. It isn’t as easy to talk about the death of Jesus, how he was beaten and mocked, and how Jesus was hung on a tree to die. That story is messy, painful and not as easily painted in a rosy light. Easter reminds us of our sin, when we look at the death of a savior we are reminded why He died and that puts weight back on us to respond.
A few years ago there was a lot of talk both good and bad about the movie The Passion of the Christ produced by Mel Gibson. I remember hearing a lot of negative talk about the film because it was so raw and bloody. I saw the movie. I wept through most of the film. It was horribly painful to watch. Why? Because I was seeing someone play out the pain and agony that my Jesus ACTUALLY suffered in order to redeem ME. I remember walking out of the movie feeling raw and emotionally sore. The film was considered a hit, but there were a lot of people who condemned it at the time. We don’t want to be reminded of the pain that Jesus endured because it reminds us why he endured it.
I haven’t fully planned out how we are going to celebrate Easter this year. We may do things differently or we may do our normal traditions. I believe there are many ways to celebrate Easter. My main focus is to celebrate, remember, and give thanks for what Jesus has done for us.
Last week we looked at several different Old Testament holidays and why they are celebrated. [To read more click Here] There were many festivals that the people of Israel were to use as a time to remember. They were to look back and remember what had been done for them. I think that Easter is a time that falls into that well. To stop in the midst of our busy lives and contemplate what Jesus actually did for us by coming to die on the cross.
How do you celebrate Easter? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below and share your ideas.