Easter is my favorite holiday. Springtime promises new growth, new life. I love how fresh sprouts spring up from the ground and the birds seem to sing with a newfound joy.
And though we all walk through our share of trials and heartbreaks, we’re promised that what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory that we’ll experience later, when we see Jesus face to face.
Before we celebrate Easter, we must first reflect with wonder on a Love that came down to rescue us. Jesus was born into a world where the wicked oppressed the vulnerable, the prideful walked all over the humble, and the religious made it impossible for the seekers to truly experience God.
Yet God so loved the world that He sent His one and only beloved Son, Jesus.
This is what resurrection love looks like…
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus took the bread and broke it. He thanked God as He said to His disciples, “This is my body, given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” On that same night, Jesus lifted up the cup of wine, thanked His Father, and said, “This is my blood, poured out for you, for the forgiveness of sins; a token of the new and everlasting covenant. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Read Luke 22:17–20)
Though His betrayal was in motion, He served communion. He reclined at the table in the presence of His enemy. Jesus knew that in a few short hours, He would face rejection, torture, and execution. And with longing and passion in His humble heart, He looked forward to getting His disciples around the table for the sake of communion.
Before His followers had a chance to be traumatized by the devil’s evil schemes, Jesus put a flag in the ground. In so many words, He said to them:
“Remember this. Remember us. Remember that the enemy hasn’t taken my life; I have freely given it. Remember that though your badness once disqualified you, the Father’s goodness has saved you. This is the new covenant. Remember that though I am well aware of what lies ahead of me on that cross, my deepest desire beforehand is to be with you, break bread with you, and remind you that my promises are true. Though schemes are being devised behind my back, I want you, my beloved ones, to see my face.”
Oh, the love of Jesus.
How many times do you suppose that night replayed in the minds of the disciples? Did the impact of Jesus’ actions fuel an increasingly greater passion in their lives as they grew in faith over the years?
I just can’t get this phrase out of my mind: On the night He was betrayed, He took the bread and broke it, saying, “This is my body, given up for you.” As if that night was one seamless, kingly piece of fabric, Jesus served, loved, and amidst the plan against His life, reminded us to remember Him.
Outside, the soldiers were receiving their orders to find and capture a rebel. Inside, the King of the universe was preparing to go to the cross. Empty accusations. Kingdom response.
Before resurrection Sunday, there’s crucifixion Friday. And even before the cross, Jesus modeled the kind of love that would change the world.
Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil. He obliterated the enemy’s claim on us. We who trust Christ’s sacrifice for our sins are not only forgiven, we’re cleansed; and we’re not only cleansed, we’re called to partner with God in the most miraculous ways! We now possess the same Spirit that blew the doors off of that grave. The power that rose Christ from the dead is alive in us!
We can now love like He loved. We can live like He did. And though battles still come and heartbreak still happens, we can trust that a better day is coming. A day where there’ll be no more tears, no more heartache, no more betrayal, and no more wickedness hiding in the shadows.
So today, right here, right now, we put our own flag in the ground. We celebrate redemption. We sing about our Savior. And we live joyfully and expectantly because our Savior is coming for us.
He is risen! He is risen, indeed.
“And God will raise us from the dead by His power, just as He raised our Lord from the dead” (1 Corinthians 6:14, NLT).
Adapted from Susie’s book, The Uncommon Woman