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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Majesty and Glory of Easter

My mother used to say it won't stay warm until after Easter. This year Easter is later in the spring than usual. When I saw Easter is not until April 24 I thought surely spring will be here to stay before that. But Mom was right. We've had a warm day here and there but it did not stay warm. We've had a cool rainy spring but the daffodils bloomed right on schedule, the tulips are starting to bloom, and the grass is ready to mow for the first time. Easter is finally here so now it can get warm and stay warm. I'm ready!
Our family's Easter traditions have changed over the years. When I was a girl we colored eggs at Easter until Mom got tired of the eggs spoiling because no one ate them. I never colored eggs with my children but I did make chocolate covered peanut butter eggs for them. Now I use molds to make finger jello eggs in a variety of colors. Somewhere along the way I got a recipe for cheese filled coffee cake which I make only once a year for our Easter breakfast. Since my parents are both gone my family has dropped the Christmas dinner and has an Easter dinner instead.
I have often wondered if Christmas or Easter is the most important of our annual holidays and came to the conclusion that the two cannot be separated. Christmas is the promise of redemption laid in a manger; Easter's empty tomb is the fulfillment of the promise. The basis for both is the divinity of Jesus Christ. The miracle of the virgin birth paved the way for the miracle of the resurrection. His resurrection is the proof He was the virgin born Son of God. If He was not the Son of God He would not have risen from the dead; if He had not risen there would be no basis for our faith. The resurrection is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions. The founders of other religions are dead; ours is alive.
During the first year after Steve's death (1994 at age 18) the fact of the resurrection became more real to me. I know exactly where I was the moment it happened. I was washing the kitchen floor when I heard someone on the radio say, "Think of the most impossible thing you would like to see happen. God can do it!" Of course, the thing I most wanted was to see Steve again. I thought Ha! Let's see Him raise the dead. That thought was instantly followed by He did! He can! He will!! Maybe not right at this moment, but as surely as God fulfilled His promise to send us a Redeemer He will keep His promise to raise the dead.
Easter is the proof that Jesus conquered death and the grave. It is the guarantee that death is not the end of life and the words of Jesus are true. "I am the resurrection and the life; He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." That is the majesty and glory of Easter!

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