As a kid, I had a pretty simplistic view of Easter.
When I was really little, it meant spring time, chocolate cream eggs, and a new dress for church (I remember one dress in particular with a strand of plastic pearls sewn to the collar—it made me feel so pretty and grown up). As I got older, Easter came to mean “Jesus died and rose again so we can go to Heaven.”
I loved Jesus, and I knew about all the gospel stories. In fact, the Jesus movie we watched at school every year just before Easter was one of my favorite films. But, beyond access to Heaven, I didn’t really comprehend what His death and resurrection meant.
This was partly because I didn’t yet realize how much I needed Him and all He provided.
That’s changed over the last 30 odd years, thanks to the wear and tear of life.
As I’ve grappled with my inability to mend my broken places, I have come to a much deeper understanding of my need for a healer, comforter, savior, counselor, lover and friend. I’ve discovered that, not only did Jesus make a way to Heaven, but He provided for all my needs here on Earth too. I now recognize a deeper meaning in Easter than I did as a kid.
But, there is still so much I don’t understand. There is much more He has given us that I have yet to fully experience, know and receive.
I think that’s part of the intrigue of walking with Christ. There’s a mystery, a beauty beyond what we can fathom. But there’s also the excitement of having bits of that mystery revealed, like finding hidden gems on a treasure hunt. Each one enriches us and also whets our appetite for the more that is to come.
Yesterday, I felt like God plopped a new gem into my palm.
I was reading in Ephesians, which is one of my favorite books and which I’ve read many times before. But this time, these two verses impacted me in a new way:
"However, Christ has given each of us special abilities—whatever he wants us to have out of his rich storehouse of gifts.
The psalmist tells about this, for he says that when Christ returned triumphantly to heaven after his resurrection and victory over Satan, he gave generous gifts to men" (Ephesians 4:7-8, TLB).
Wow! When did Christ give us gifts and special abilities? After his resurrection. I knew that we have been given gifts, but I never closely connected Easter as the time at which we received these gifts from Jesus.
I realized, yet again, that there is much more to Easter than I imagined.
Yes, Easter is about “getting to Heaven” (thank you God!).
Yes, Easter is about freedom from sin, freedom from fear, and healing for our bodies, hearts, and minds. It’s about the power of love over death, being made a part of God’s family, and being in relationship with God. But Easter is also about our gifts, purpose and calling on this earth. Now. Today.
Christ came not just to get us to Heaven, but to partner with us in fulfilling our destiny. His relationship with each of us is eternal, individual, and intimately designed. When Jesus triumphantly rose He thought of you, and He gave you special abilities.
It is our privilege and responsibility to discover and walk in those gifts and abilities. We get to be a part of the greatest story ever told, the story of Christ’s triumph that is still unfolding on Earth today. This, for me, is one of the most thrilling things about life.
I have a feeling that, just as today I smile back on my limited, elementary school understanding of Easter, in another 20 or 30 years I’ll look back on my current understanding and see it as equally childlike. And I can’t even imagine what my perspective will be once I’m finally face to face with God. I’m looking forward to that day!
In the meantime, I hope that you are encouraged to know that He does have gifts and a purpose for you! You are not afterthought, an accident, or an anomaly. I pray that this Easter you experience a deeper flow of life, provision, and vision for all that Jesus joyfully gave to you. New life, new hope, new growth, in Jesus name. Blessings!
I wrote this post because I’m on a mission to encourage and equip women to live the life of faith, passion, and purpose that we were made for. You can help make a difference by sharing this post with a friend (or friends!) who you think would be encouraged or inspired by it (you can use the buttons on the left!). Thanks!!!
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