Greetings from our home in Tennessee! We are under "shelter in place" orders from our state and have stayed safely tucked away during that time. We are certainly living in unprecedented times, and how honestly fitting that as we are in Holy Week, coming up on the crucifixion of Christ, that we remember it was His sacrifice that actually gives all of us HOPE in these days of uncertainty. Not only did He provide a way for us to be made right with the One true God, but His resurrection is the very sign of VICTORY over death, hell and the grave. This earth is not our home. As a follower of Christ, we have a home eternally with Him in heaven. I love the words of the old song, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone." Because He lives---we can live in peace and hope! This Easter---even though you may not be able to gather like you normally would---share the Good News! The world desperately needs to know that "Life is worth the living, just because He lives!"
Prophecies Fullfilled--Promises Forthcoming!
Easter—it's more than colored eggs and chocolate bunnies. Although to be perfectly honest, as a child, I loved that aspect! I would go with my dad, and he would buy 12 dozen eggs in a crate from a local farmer. The process would begin: we boiled, we colored eggs, we boiled more eggs, and we colored more eggs. Eventually, we would have 10-12 dozen colored eggs for the household because we needed enough to go around. I also enjoyed making the Easter baskets for everyone filling them with colored eggs and candy. This maybe wasn't the best thing because more than once, a week or so after Easter, while cleaning up my younger brothers' bedroom, I would catch a whiff of something really rotten. I followed the smell and sure enough under the bed was a mess of green fake grass with jelly beans and uneaten colored eggs. I'm not sure if they deliberately hid them or just forgot about them, but that was not a pleasant smell! HA!
I heard about a little boy sitting next to his friend at church one Easter Sunday. His friend asked, "How did you get that bruise on your arm?" The boy replied, "I ate some Easter candy." His friend said, "Eating Easter candy won't give you a bruise." The boy quipped, "It will if it is your big brother's candy!" This reminded me of my siblings!
Now to what matters— the REAL Easter story. As one reads the Easter story account in Luke, it is very thought-provoking. It is interesting to note that the disciples never seemed to understand the things that Jesus was telling them until after He was dead as to what was going to happen to Him. Even after Peter saw the empty tomb, Luke 24:12 states, "He was wondering in himself at that which was to come to pass." I believe even as they looked into the empty tomb when they saw nothing, they saw much! This is what I believe they saw°
° "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day." Luke 9:22
° "I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. "
° "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. " Isaiah 53:3
° Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." John 2:19
° Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." Luke 23:42-43
° "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansion; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know." Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:1-6
° "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with t hem in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be withe the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with thee words." 1 Thes. 4:16-18
Revelation 21:4 rings loud in my spirit, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. "
Whatever trial we face or are going through, He is and will be there. Larry's and my hearts go out to the many families and partners whose lives have been broken through the loss of a child, mate, parent, or miscarriage. Their hearts are broken due to the indescribable pain and loneliness of their absence. Here is the Good News! The resurrection takes the sting out of death. Easter shows us that there is life beyond the grave! Death is no longer a giant; it is a mere blip on the screen of eternity. Knowing this, we have a different perspective of death. For the person who trusts in God, death is just a transition into a new life.
Matthew 28:20 says, "Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world. " John 20:21 says, "So Jesus said to them again, Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."
You may be reading this today and you feel like you are living the crucifixion Friday in excruciating pain or you may feel you are in a no hope, no courage Saturday filled with disappointment and fear of a bleak future. But HOLD ON---SUNDAY IS COMING! That's the hope of the resurrection for the Christian. He will take us HOME—no more tears or fears. We will be reunited with our loved ones and forever be with the Lord. That will make you shout! Sounds good to me!
We love Easter and all that we celebrate about Jesus. We also love family and the privilege it is share about the death and resurrection of Jesus during this time. I don't know about you, but my kids always enjoyed the hands on activities and it always made things come alive.
So here is a fun recipe to try...super easy...super yummy...but so meaningful!
- 1 (10 ounce) package jumbo refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 8 large marshmallows
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare muffin pan (preferably jumbo muffin pan) with non-stick cooking spray.
Separate rolls into eight triangles and set aside. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Then, dip each marshmallow into butter, rolling it in cinnamon-sugar. Place the marshmallow on a triangle piece of dough. Pinch dough around marshmallow, sealing all edges. Make sure to seal well or all the marshmallow will escape.
Dip tops of dough into the remaining butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar. Place roll with the sugar side up into prepared muffin cups.
Bake at 375 degrees for 13 - 15 minutes. Eat warm.
While you are making these, you can read the Easter story found in the Gospels. As you read, you can express that in this illustration, Jesus is represented by the marshmallow. After Jesus died on the cross he was wrapped in linen thus you rolled it in butter and cinnamon. Jesus was then put into tomb which was the crescent roll dough. And finally, after the 3rd day, Jesus has risen and is no longer in tomb. You can now open the cooked roll to find there is no marshmallow!