What images come to mind when you hear the word "Easter?"
Even now, scenes from the 1961 movie King of Kings flash in my memory. I would alternate between watching that and Jesus of Nazareth every Easter, from my elementary years through high school.
Although I didn't understand "salvation" or have any real relationship with the Lord at the time, He was always extremely important to me—a priority instilled by my parents, both strong in their Episcopal faith.
Looking back now, I can easily see God's "fingerprints" all over my growing up years; how He was drawing me to a life walking with Him.
…long "talks" with Him on the beach while watching the sunrise over the Atlantic.
…a consistent desire to know Him more and be close to God that never dimmed, even through my wild and crazy high school and college days.
…the many times I would visit a church during the week, just to sit alone and quiet in the sanctuary.
That all makes sense now and is summed up with the verse that I decided was my "life" verse on the day my husband and I were baptized in 1985:
"One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to meditate in His temple." -Ps. 27:4 (NASB)
Recently I had a personal health scare that—thankfully—turned out to be nothing, but it caused me to really consider what it would be like to face a terminal prognosis as so many do. (And, as we ALL will eventually)
The thing is, as I did think about that, I had to admit I didn't fear dying, because "…I know Whom I have believed…" (2 Tim.1:12)
I kind of marvel at that. The fact is, Jesus really has taken the "sting" out of death.
My brother waits to welcome me in the presence of God when that day comes, and I look forward to seeing him again.
The Bible says for Believers to be ready to give an account of the hope that is in them, and I'd have to say, this is my hope.
God's perfect love casts out my fears—in every aspect of my life. It's simple but it's true.
What Jesus did for us in setting aside His place—being born as one of us, and becoming our ransom and the bridge to reconcile us to God when there was no other way for us to get back to Him—Jesus did it perfectly.
It's the real, tangible, sublime hope for each one of us.
This Easter—this Resurrection Sunday—may embracing that hope be what comes to mind for you.