What Does Easter Mean To You?
by Valerie Cabadonga, Rebekah Lamorena and Talya Bakker
One of the speakers at Passionate Conference said that it doesn't matter what the people around you - your friends, family, neighbour, leader - think who Jesus is. What matters is who you think Jesus is in your life.
Easter is not only a long weekend holiday to us all, but a perfect time to reflect on who God has been in the different seasons of our lives. With Good Friday in our hands, Talya, Rebekah and I thought that just as Jesus plays a different role for each of us, Easter also signifies and mean differently for everyone.
So this is what Easter means to us:
"While thinking about Easter and what it means to me, this song came to mind. I think it speaks for itself - I'm Made Worthy by Curate Music.
To me, Good Friday is a reminder of the breadth, depth and magnitude of His love for us. Despite our sinful nature, Jesus died for us. In spite of my wandering, impatience, defeat, anger, shame, jealousy, strife, pride, struggles, stumbles, chaos, fruitfulness, faithfulness, faithlessness, mountaintop moments, sorrows, days, nights, lows, highs, Jesus loves me. Because of Him and what He did for me, I'm made worthy. We are made worthy."
"For me, Jesus’ death and resurrection is powerful in its detail. The smallest and seemingly insignificant parts hold such beautiful weight and meaning. Take Pilate for example: “And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”(John 19:19 NLT). Pilate wrote this message in three languages: Hebrew, Greek and Latin. At that time, these languages had specific purposes - Hebrew was the language of religion, Greek of philosophy and Latin was the language of law. Despite protests, Pilate wrote that Jesus is King. Regardless of your philosophy or religious practice or even which law you obey, Jesus is Lord. To me, Good Friday is that declaration. Here is the King of the Jews on earth and the Prince of Peace in Heaven.
Even as Jesus gasps for breath with ragged bones stretched across and nailed in place, he advocates peace and forgiveness. He asks John in the midst of this torture to take his mother Mary away. John takes Mary away and doesn’t record the three hours of Jesus death. He takes care to ensure that his mother doesn’t witness his shame and crucifixion. His heart for her in this moment would take such care and thought beyond his own pain. In three hours, the needling sensation of human shame and sin and wrongdoing came crashing onto that feeble body. John omits this part of Jesus’ death as if it’s too hard to describe.
I often acknowledge Jesus as my saviour in a general sense - the kind of way that’s broad and “leadery” and public. But I need to rewrite my thinking. The burden of carrying an entire world of sin is so real and raw, John may have been unable to speak of it. Yet, Jesus considered his mother in this moment and spared her pain. Jesus addressed an individual as he was offered as the sacrificial lamb for a world of sin. I am shielded by his grace, love, care and tenderness.
On Good Friday, I try to remember the details. Jesus is the king of Heaven in every language. He knows me by name. He knows intimately all my wrong-doings and still, he covers me, just as lamb’s blood covers over the door at Passover."
"Apart from Easter being a celebration of God's unconditional love for us, for me, Easter is a daily reminder that just as Jesus died to make a way for us, we also need to die to make a way for Him.
When conversations get heated, stress is at its height and we react based on the several emotions we’re experiencing at the time. Without knowing, we say things that we would just like to take back from the second they came out of our mouths. When our pride is attacked, we tend to get defensive and shun every piece of wisdom that is showered on us. Both of these situations create distance between us and others and even to God.
That’s the thing with pride: it wants to be known. It wants to rise above. It wants to get the things they want regardless of who and what is stepped on. It wants to make others know that the most important thing is me, myself and I. Pride is one way of thinking our will being done is most important. And don’t feel bad about having one. I have it too.
Jesus prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane is perfect picture language for us what it is like to kill our pride and make way for God to work in us. Closer and closer into the time that Judas betrays Jesus, he prayed to God (Luke 22:42 NLT), “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
And on Easter, Jesus reminds me that my pride has to die in order to make a way for God to work in and flow through my life. When the easiest response is to lash out in anger, God will work things out in peace and love. When annoyance becomes the quickest emotion, God will set my actions in grace. When it is much easier to storm out of the wilderness, God will shower me with strength and solidify my faith. It is only when we die first that we can be more and more like Christ each and every day."
Now, what does Easter mean to you?