TGIF, Indeed.

It is common knowledge that Easter is one of the two bedrock holidays of Christianity. Everyone knows that we celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas and His death and resurrection on Easter. The issue is that these holidays have become so commercialized, that I doubt we even consider the source anymore. When we’re making plans for egg hunts and feasts with our families, does the cross of Calvary cross our minds? There is nothing wrong with Easter egg hunts. My church hosts one every year for the kids. (Although, they do make sure it’s about Jesus because our youth pastors are amazing.) I also love any excuse to get the family together for a good meal. These traditions are not wrong in anyway, please don’t misunderstand. The problem lies in the fact that Easter has become just another holiday that requires event planning.

On this Good Friday, I woke up with a heavy heart over what this day represents. Jesus Christ chose to die on a cross for my sins so I could have the opportunity for eternal life in Heaven! The gravity of that statement is honestly mind blowing. Knowing that He had the power to remove Himself from the situation; knowing He was the only sinless man but carried the past, present and future sins of all mankind to His death on Calvary for us to still have the choice to accept His salvation. There is no greater picture of love. Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I cannot get one word out of my mind as I think of this precious event: choice. He chose to die for us. He gives us the opportunity to choose Him. There is no obligation. In His omniscient power, He could’ve walked away. He would’ve been fully justified in seeing the perverted state of mankind and deeming us unworthy of such a gift. He saw depraved mankind and still chose to die for them! Such unfathomable love. We must choose Him, because he first chose us!

One would think with that kind of act, there would be some kind of obligation attached. However, obligation sort of negates sacrifice, doesn’t it? Sacrifice is defined as an act for someone else. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us then command we follow Him. He said, ‘whosever will.’ In Mark 8:34, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Additionally, in Revelation 3:20, He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” He doesn’t barge into our lives, even though He could. He waits us for us to receive Him. What an incredible gift of freedom!

It is no wonder why the world tries to remove the true meaning of Easter. It is much easier to submit to the ways of man when you ignore such a magnificent sacrifice. There are even churches that don’t preach of Jesus’ death and resurrection. They don’t want to cause ‘guilt and shame’ by bringing up the past. Well, what they call the past is the key to our future! We must never forget that if not for the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, we would certainly be on our way to an eternal hell. Romans 10:9 says, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” It is the very foundation of our salvation!

It is not too late to fully dedicate your life to Him, friend. It is not enough to simply say you believe; you must live a life that points to Him. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” I promise you, it will be the best choice you ever make.

Until next time,

Erica Lee

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