Overwhelmed by Easter!

I have always loved Easter. It’s always been my favorite holiday. After all, how many people get put to death and live to tell about it?!?!?!!!

This year was different. Easter was so much more meaningful to me this year than it has ever been before. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s a sign of me maturing in my understanding of what Jesus accomplished when he died for all of humanity. All I know is that my heart was overflowing with gratitude, thankfulness, and joy!

The highlights:

The first highlight was taking the kids to a presentation at church on Good Friday. (Unfortunately, my wife wasn’t able to go with that night.) It felt so wonderful to help get their heart pointed in the right direction for Easter Sunday.

The Easter Sunday service was wonderful. There was such a powerful atmosphere of worship. The music was great (which for me personally is always such an exciting part of worship), and there was a very powerful drama which reenacted the way things might have been at the time Jesus was crucified. The part of the drama that caught my attention was that much of it focused on a character that helped usher Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday then died as the events of that week unfolded. This character, Gideon, believed in Jesus. Then when Jesus died Gideon came back to life. This is one part of the Easter story that usually gets overlooked. Matthew 27: 51-53 (NIV) records the events that happened the moment Jesus died in this way:

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

If there was ever any doubt that something supernatural was underway, dead people walking around should have been a pretty good clue!

I keep trying to put myself into the political and social culture of that time. What would I have done on Palm Sunday? Good Friday? The dark Saturday before Easter Sunday?

One more powerful Easter experience. I ended up watching one of my favorite movies, The Miracle Maker, along with the kids. I absolutely love this movie! On first glance the puppetry / animation may make it seem like it’s just for kids…but it’s not. It’s message is true to the scriptures and the storyline is so well-written. Although I’ve watched the show many times before, this year I saw it with new eyes and learned more about what it would have been like to be in Jerusalem during the time of those events. It is truly a wonderful presentation!

The bottom line is that Easter Sunday 2008 is drawing to a close, and it was such a wonderful Easter season this year!

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