• Mandy

he knew, he loves: the hope of Easter


Happy blog day, friends!


How great were Kelly and JP last week? Thanks for reading along and encouraging my sweet friends! I will be sure to keep you posted on their journey moving forward.


This week we are going to wrap up our theme of finding joy in waiting!


Easter is right around the corner – can you believe it? The Reese’s eggs, pastel colors and fluffy bunnies warm my heart. Our dog, Dolly, hates Easter because we dress her up like the Easter bunny. Sorry we’re not sorry, Dolly!

We love her so much!


As a kid, Easter meant egg hunts, eating chocolate until I felt sick, and wearing my best floral dress. As cute as Easter bunnies and floral dresses are, the true significance of Easter has taken time to sink in.


Reflecting on Jesus’ death and resurrection stirs heavy emotions in my heart, like thankfulness, humility, joy and hope. We pause to remember Jesus’ death and how his calling in life was to die on the cross for our sins. He lived a perfect life. Jesus’ faithfulness is the reason we can have hope and an abundant, purposeful life today. He’s the reason we can have peace in all areas of life, especially in waiting.


I am going to share what Easter means to me and how I’ve connected with Jesus’ death and resurrection, in hopes you can feel as encouraged as I do by Easter.

The two main takeaways from Easter, for me, are:

1. Jesus Knew

2. Jesus Loves

What stirs my heart first is HE KNEW. Jesus knew he was going to die a brutal death and went through with it. Can you imagine knowing how you’re going to die, especially the way Jesus knew how he was going to die? He knew the excruciating pain coming his way. He knew he would be mocked, beaten and humiliated publically. Yet, even so, Jesus knew and loved. He knew, and remained faithful to carry out the calling on his life.


His dedication to his father outweighed any pain he was going to endure.


I wish I could claim that for my own faith, don’t you? I’ve hesitated to listen to God SO many times because I’ve feared the pain or uncertainty on the other side. Can you imagine being so connected with the Lord that not following wouldn’t even be an option in our minds? Jesus knew every cut, piercing and bruise coming his way, and it didn’t stop him from carrying his cross. His relationship with his father and love for humanity was too important to not obey.


What also stirs my heart is HE LOVED. I think Andy Stanley says it best:

“If someone is willing to die for you, they are for you!”


Jesus is FOR us – look at the cross. His limitless, indescribable grace and passion for humanity hits me in the gut every single time. He did not have an easy life on earth, yet he died for the soldiers beating him, the people watching, sick people, healthy folks, for you, me – everyone! His message was love, peace, and hope, and at the time of his death, I imagine it felt like hope was lost.


But GOD had a plan for Jesus, just like He has a plan for YOU.


Three days after his brutal death, just like he said, the tomb was empty! Jesus punched death in the mouth for a TKO.


After Jesus’ death came waiting. After waiting came the resurrection. In the same way, I think we can claim the hope of a resurrection in our own waiting seasons. We can believe in a good Father who redeems our pain. We can cling to the same powerful God who resurrected Jesus. He can resurrect our hopeless relationships, our dead-end jobs, our financial struggles, infertility, family tension – you name it! Nothing is too big for him when we hand it over to him.


While we navigate our waiting seasons, we can know we aren’t alone. We have a friend in Jesus because he relates to what pain feels like on earth, and he is with us while we wait for ours to pass. Believing in Jesus means we can know, without a doubt, there is joy in this world even in our waiting because there is hope for a resurrection.


One of my favorite verses in James is, “He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” I have a feeling Jesus knew this about his father. God never changes. When we are in our unsettling, scary and potentially saddening waiting seasons, we can know the father Jesus knew. We can know He is FOR us. Our feelings can’t change the rock solid sovereignty of the Lord.


As an adult, I finally became curious enough to learn more about Easter. In doing so, I’ve found even more appreciation for Jesus. Easter signifies the immense amount of joy and hope we can cling to. The resurrection is proof Jesus is true to his word. Easter is proof there is light.


As we enter into the next week and a half leading up to Easter, pause to think about what Easter means to you. I think it’s okay if it still means fluffy bunnies and Reese’s eggs, but I challenge you to dig deeper. Accepting Jesus means we get the chance to live a purposeful life before, during and after our waiting seasons. Jesus KNEW and he LOVES!


I pray you carry him with you, and know you can claim his promises of hope in your life.


Now go eat a Reese’s egg!


Reflections:

  • What does Jesus’ death and resurrection mean to you?

  • What stirs your heart about Easter?

  • We know Jesus is for us. What are ways you can show Jesus you are for him?

  • Go eat another Reese’s egg. YOLO.

#palmsofjoy