Saturday, April 11, 2009
I know this is late coming and it's because Easter caught me a bit off guard this year. Just as we took the month of December to do our Advent activities and reflected on the birth of Jesus and what His coming into the world means for us, I wanted to spend a good part of this week reflecting on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and what that means for us as believers.
I have recommended it before, but will do so again, Noel Piper's Treasuring God in Our Traditions has some great ideas for making Easter meaningful for both you and your children. For the past two years we have used her idea for the Easter Mountain and Taylor seemed to understand it more this year.
I wasn't able to implement this idea this year, but will definitely do it next year...Lent candles. It is the same idea that's behind the Advent candles but you snuff out a candle each week during Lent. Since we have very young children I would probably condense the time period and make it shorter. On Easter Sunday, all the candles are lit to represent the resurrection of our Lord, the Light of the world! I think this is a great idea as well.
Tomorrow we will be making the traditional Resurrection Buns. This will be a first for me, so I hope they turn out. Taylor Joy and I will be making them in the morning with me explaining each step to her and how it symbolizes the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And then we get to eat the yummy goodness! So fun!
Also, though we've never really participated in Easter egg hunts, a few families from our church decided to do one this year that would be particularly meaningful. In addition to hiding candy-filled eggs, Resurrection Eggs will also be hidden. After the hunt is over, we will go through each egg in order and explain the real story of Easter to our children. We plan to paint crosses and have a picnic lunch as well. I am excited to share the day with other precious families in our body. I just pray it doesn't rain!
I'll leave you with a meditation from my hubby:
In preparation for this weekend’s worship service, I would encourage you to consider the gravity of the event we remember today and the significance it holds for you and me. Listen to Matthew’s description:
“Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?’ For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up…So, when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’ And all the people answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified” (Matt. 27:15-18, 24-26).
What a beautiful, terrible, irony. The sinless Son of God traded for the sinful Barabbas, accused of rebellion and murder. Instead of desiring justice for a known criminal, the crowd persuaded Pilate to cater to their rebellion against God and murder Jesus.
This event takes on further signifance when you understand that in Hebrew, “Barabbas” means, “son of daddy.” On Good Friday, Jesus, the sinless Son of God was crucified instead of you and me - sinful sons and daughters of sinful daddies. Truly did Isaiah prophesy: “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned - every one - to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:5-6).
Consider the Great Exchange tonight and praise God for sending his Son to assume your guilt and your punishment.