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Happy Easter week! Are you ready for spring break? Coloring Easter eggs? Easter egg hunts? All that fun stuff? It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m already sitting in my bathrobe with a kitty by my side. Thankfully, everyone is napping at the same time, so solace is here! Yay! As we get ready to celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we have been talking about WHY we celebrate this special time of year at home. I grew up knowing about Easter and the fact that Jesus was crucified for my sin and the sin of the entire world and rose again miraculously on the third day. It’s always good to remember each year, how it really was for Him in order to understand how much He loves us.

You can read the four accounts of the narrative in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to get a different perspective of the situation based on the writer. So, bottom line is, God made one way to Him, one way to heaven. This way is through salvation in Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Jesus knew He came to earth for this as a sweet, tiny baby. He spent thirty-three years on earth. We have been talking at breakfast “Bible story” time about the Last Supper Jesus had with his special friends, the disciples. He wanted them to remember all He had done – the miracles He had performed. I use quote bunnies with Bible story because it lasts about three minutes or as long as four girls under five can handle! But, hey, a lot can be learned in three minutes!

Interestingly, the Savior of the world rode into the town of Bethany on a donkey. The people who later would want to kill him waved palm branches and celebrated His arrival. They called Him the King of Israel because they had heard of the miracles He had done and they were excited to see Him (John 12). If you remember, His mom, Mary, rode to Bethlehem for the census on a donkey as well right before He was born. God does not miss a detail!

I know Jesus was really stressed out and anxious as described in Matthew 26 when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and asked God to not allow Him to die if possible. He was willing to do what God asked of Him, though, even to the point of death on the cross. Jesus was fully God and fully human. He was scared – so much that He sweated drops of blood as he prayed (Luke 22:44).

It makes me sad that Jesus, the Savior of everyone who has lived, is living, and will live, was treated like garbage. He was made fun of, beaten, and spit on (Luke 22:63-65). Funny thing is, when He was arrested, Pilate didn’t know what to do with Jesus. He wasn’t really convinced He needed to die but I guess politics played a role even back then, so Pilate handed him off to Herod Antipas. Pilate probably breathed a sigh of relief when he realized maybe he wouldn’t have to involve himself since Jesus was a Galilean, therefore under Herod’s jurisdiction. Herod was pumped because He had heard of Jesus and wanted to see some “tricks.” Herod had nothing to hold Jesus on, so he sent our Lord back to Pilate. He wanted to release Jesus and let the people know there was nothing they could find to charge Him with. After Pilate gave the people an opportunity to release Jesus or Barabbas, a guy in prison for murder. The people chose to release Barabbas, a murderer, and crucify Jesus instead. Wow.

My heart aches for His momma, Mary. She had been a part of this miracle, had seen the angels, gave birth in that stable, seen the wise men worship this little One. She watched Him take His first steps, helped him learn to dress, perhaps rocked Him to sleep, held Him as a baby, watched Him sleep, and laugh with Him. Now she watched her once baby Boy face a cruel, undeserved punishment.

Jesus couldn’t carry the cross on His back after a brutal beating, so Simon of Cyrene and was tasked with carrying the cross. If you remember, when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac, he carried his own wood to the altar where was about to be sacrificed as well (Genesis 22). See the detail here? God is amazing.

Jesus was crucified between two criminals that day, still mocked by the crowd and the soldiers. I always want the good guy in movies to let the people know who they are so they can say, “haha,” but Jesus didn’t do that. He knew He was the sacrifice for the entire world – past, present, and future. Mark 15:37 describes Jesus’s loud cry as He died for you and for me. At this time, the curtain in the temple that hung at the entrance to the Holy of Holies tore, symbolizing that we now have a relationship with God because of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross for us. He made a way for us to be saved because He paid the punishment for our sin. Cool thing is when the curtain tore, the centurion standing opposite Him saw Him breathe His last, realized He really was God’s Son (Mark 5:39).

Thankfully, Resurrection morning comes when the Sabbath was over. Sunday morning came, the first day of the week, and the women saw the huge stone was rolled away at the entrance to the tomb where Jesus was buried. The angel there told them Jesus was alive, headed to Galilee, and they could find Him there (Mark 16). They were afraid, as I think I would be too.

Jesus went through all this to save you and me. He put up with the mocking, beating, anxiety, trials, and stress all to save you and me from our sin. Let’s take time this week to remember – really remember – what He went through for us. It might just change the way we view life. You can find the Resurrection passages in the four Gospels like I mentioned earlier in Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, and John 18-20. Happy Easter. Praise the Lord that He is risen! Y'all have a special week!

Love, Charis

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