My Favorite Part of the Easter Story

Today is Resurrection Day to those who believe in God and His power that brought Jesus back to life.  It’s been over a decade now since I’d participated in all the traditional Christian activities that occur every year during this time, that whole Passion Week beginning with Palm Sunday, recounting all of Jesus’ suffering as He was tortured by men, and ending with His triumphant resurrection on Easter morning.  In trying to figure out why going through the Passion Week activities just doesn’t have the same appeal to me anymore, I figured out that it’s because that isn’t my favorite part of the Easter Story, and there has always been something missing in all of that traditional way of celebrating the life we have in Jesus.  It almost felt somehow like the movie Groundhog Day, where we just repeat the same thing every year, going through the same remembrances, and then go back to life as before.

I’ll tell you what my favorite part of the Easter story is.  It’s the stuff that happens AFTER the resurrection.  You see, to me, the resurrection isn’t the end of the story, but the beginning of a whole new story, a very exciting one!

I often see stories on the Internet of men restoring buildings that have been abandoned, buildings in which many see no beauty or value.  I love seeing these stories where people can see beauty in things others can’t, and then lovingly, painstakingly, bring out that beauty for all to see.  Well, my favorite part of the resurrection story is of God doing that with His children, and how, because of the resurrection, He’s able to come live in them and restore them.  He sees beauty in ones whom others cannot see as valuable, or ones who don’t feel valuable themselves, then lovingly and patiently restores them back to their original glory, His glory in them, His image that was their original blueprint.

It’s puzzling to me how people can accept men’s ability to restore a building, but refuse to see and accept God’s restoration power of people’s lives, restoring them from brokenness to the glory of His image that’s “ingrained” in them much like the beautiful patterns of the wood grain in an old neglected wooden cabin.  If man, in his finite abilities, can do so much to mere buildings, how much more can God who is limitless do in the hearts of people?  His work isn’t always visible, and perhaps that’s where the people have trouble seeing it, but He surely is working everyday in the hearts of many, mending the brokenness, healing the wounds, and restoring people to their original glory.  He works in the realm of hopes and dreams, of sorrow and joy, of torment and peace, of things invisible but surely felt. The same power that brought Jesus back from the dead is still around and raising many wounded souls back to life. And THAT, my friend, is the part of the Easter story I love to tell the most!

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I Was On His Mind

He went to the cross thousands of years before I was born.   But on that day, Jesus saw into the future, and knew me.  He was thinking of me when He gave up His life to cure me of the disease of the mind and spirit that can only be cured through the transfusion of His Spirit into mine.  He ripped the curtain in the temple in two, so that there is no more barrier between me and Him.  I can now approach Him as freely as my own children can approach me.  I can now talk to Him as a child to a Father without any fear, feeling completely safe, accepted, and loved.  All this was made possible because He loved me far into the future.   He thought of me and knew that someday, I would be born.  And He waited.  Patiently he waited.   Through all the time that I was searching everywhere else for love and a place to belong, He waited.  He saw me through time, knew what it would cost for our relationship, and He willingly paid the price.   He gave up His life, enduring the worst that humanity, His own creation, threw at Him, so He and I can be connected spirit to spirit as we are today.  I am forever thankful that He had me on His mind when He was on that cross.

 

WHEN HE WAS ON THE CROSS I WAS ON HIS MIND
by: Ronny Hinson and Mike Payne

I’m not on an ego trip, I’m nothing on my own,
I make mistakes; I often slip; I’m just common flesh and bone.
But I’ll prove someday, just why I say that I’m of a special kind,
For when He was on the cross, I was on His mind.

The look of love was on His face, and thorns were on His head,
Blood was on His scarlet robe, it stained with crimson red.
Though His eyes were on the crowd that day, He looked ahead in time.
For when He was on that cross, you see, I was on His mind.

He knew me, yet He loved me,
He whose glory makes the heavens shine.
So unworthy of such mercy,
Yet when He was on the cross, I was on His mind,
When He was on the cross, I was on His mind.