As I reflect on the Easters of my growing up years, the following memories spring immediately to mind:
Several weeks before Easter Sunday we would go to the fabric store, first perusing the pattern books, marking any dress patterns we liked with a torn slip of paper (this before the wonder that is the post it note). After looking at the McCall, Butterick, and Vogue books, we would then attempt to narrow down our favorites, finally choosing just one. From the patterns we would then walk up and down row after row of fabric, unrolling bolts, cutting swatches, comparing favorites until just the right fabric was chosen. From fabric to choosing thread, buttons and zipper and then home where my mom would get busy cutting and sewing and hemming, thus creating our custom, one of a kind, made to order Easter dresses.
My mom is incredibly talented, no doubt about it.
Some of my favorite memories growing up are of the fabric store.
I also remember Easter lunch, consisting of ham and variety of sides but always, always potato salad. Sadly enough, this is a tradition I am unable to continue in my own home. The ham, yes; potato salad, no. My husband considers eggs and mayonnaise, and particularly the combination thereof, grounds for divorce.
You think I kid.
Egg hunts are another favorite memory, and not the big corporate church hunts, but hunts at our home, in our backyard or even in the den. My dad hiding the eggs, me and my sister hunting. Me hiding, my sister hunting. My sister hiding, me hunting. Me and my sister hiding for my brother to hunt. You get the idea. We never tired of it, at least not in my memory.
One Easter we came downstairs and our baskets were hidden. Another year the Easter bunny, that trickster, hid our eggs himself while we were sleeping. Because of the aforementioned love of the hunt, we knew exactly how many eggs were to be found. But we never did find them all that day. It was a great curiosity to us as to where and when the rogue egg would show up…
Thankfully, we hunted the plastic egg and not the hard boiled variety.
When I was a young girl, maybe 8 or 10, I remember us watching one of the Jesus movies while seated on the floor in front of my grandmother’s console tv. Then, as now, I had loved Jesus for as long as I could remember and certainly knew the details of the Easter story–but that year something happened to my heart as the crucifixion scene reached its climax: my heart, it broke. I wept inconsolably and rushed from the room.
I couldn’t bear it.
Suddenly the story was more than a story; it was a reality.
My mom followed me into the bedroom, assuring me, comforting me, coaxing me back to the movie, to see that the ending is good, Jesus lives, it’s not the end, not yet.
Many years later I sat in a darkened movie theater and cried again even as I hid my eyes from the terror of the cross as depicted in a motion picture. The ending was good, Jesus lives, but, oh my word, the cross…the blood…I couldn’t bear it.
Every Easter I ponder the unimaginable horror that is the cross. Some say it reflects my worth in that Jesus was willing to endure such a cruel death in order to save me. I disagree. With great humility and heartbreak, I confess it shows the depth of my sin and the terrible price it demanded–the death of God’s own Son! It is my wickedness on display at the cross, not my worth.
My wickedness, Christ’s mercy. My depravity, His forgiveness. Did ever such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown? He has redeemed me by His blood, bought me with a price. I am His; He is mine. Because of His great love, He has made me alive even though I was dead, wallowing in the stench of my sin, separated, doomed, deserving of damnation to an eternity in hell.
This is the cross of Christ. This is His mercy and His grace. For our God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Glory to His name!
I think of my heart breaking as a young girl before the horror of the crucifixion and I ask that I not forget. I want to remember and worship the glory of my Lord Jesus as revealed in the cross. On Easter. On Monday. On Tuesday. On every day. From now through eternity.
My prayer is that you too would remember…and worship..with hearts broken before the grace and mercy of a holy God…He alone is worthy!
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 4:6
He is risen! He lives! Hallelujah!