Written by Teresa Goodnight

Easter brings about so many emotions, but gratitude usually tops the list. We stop in the season of Easter to remember Christ, His death–His burial–His Resurrection. Even when writing it seems a bit surreal to truly think through what those elements of Easter actually represent.

Every one of us has made mistakes of all shapes and sizes. God being both loving and just, with our simple logic, was sort of at a crossroads on what to do with our decision. He couldn’t just forgive our sins without a payment for them being that He is just. Without a payment, our choices were deadly. They brought about a destination separating us from God for eternity. On the other hand, God created us in His image. He seriously loved us. What in the world was He to do?

Being God, He knew exactly what He would do. It would require a sacrifice–the ultimate selfless act. God knew the way to bring man back into fellowship with Him was through the sacrifice of His one and only Son, Jesus. It sounds simple enough, but to truly understand the depth of that offering, it helps to think of someone we love deeply. Imagine that person tortured by ungrateful men, who didn’t care they were thrashing your loved one, while you had to watch. Imagine knowing your loved one was being sacrificed to pay for their mistakes. Imagine having the power to stop it, but choosing to love the accusers and the world so much that you let it happen. Imagine that moment, when broken, you turned your back because you couldn’t watch the final moment as the debt was finally paid. Can you even let your mind go there?
Stopping to thank God for His sacrifice, for the sacrifice of His Son–it’s not to be taken lightly. It WAS a big deal. It is THE BIG DEAL God made with Himself to remain both just and still our loving Father who paid the cost for our mistakes.

As you stop to do this in remembrance of Him, it might be more fitting for all of us to fall to our knees in humble gratitude. He paid a debt He did not owe. We owed a debt we simply could not afford to pay. The only thing worse than not being truly thankful for His sacrifice we didn’t deserve, would be to NOT accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Who else would do that for us? For you? He leaves that all important choice to us. However, one thing we can NEVER do is doubt His love for us. He loved us so much He gave His all that we might be made right. Where can we find bigger love than that?

One of my favorite Christian bands, DownHere penned one of my all time favorite Christmas songs in 2010. It brings me to tears just thinking about these lyrics:

“Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we’ve projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother’s shawl
Just a child
Is this who we’ve waited for?

‘Cause how many kings step down from their thrones
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Only one did that for me.

James 15:12-13 (NLT) “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

This Easter: Remember His death and sacrifice.
Celebrate His amazing resurrection.
Rest in His love.
There is no greater core to who we are as Christians than this display of UTTERLY AMAZING GRACE.
Then, when you stop to really think through what He did–do what
comes naturally and show that same full of grace love to everyone else.
The world is waiting for us to get this right.
I think God is too.