I hope everyone had a blessed Easter, celebrating that our Lord and Savior is risen!!! The whole weekend for me was so emotional. Last year I decided that I would start watching The Passion of the Christ on Good Friday every year. It’s not just watching a movie. This movie is the closest thing to portray what Jesus went through on that day He was crucified. It provokes so many different feelings within me. First, I felt completely overwhelmed with sadness. You hear the story every Easter of what Christ went through but most of my life it has never really sunk in, until I saw this movie. It was brutal and horrific. You read and hear about “the cat of nine tails”…. indescribable. The physical pain that He went through on that day, the beatings, the amount of blood,… not to mention that it’s hard to portray what Christ went through being separated from His Father. (Mark 15:34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). All this for His children. All this because of me, for me. This made me totally overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness. One of the reasons I feel the need to watch this movie is because I want the images of His sacrifice to be burned in my mind, I want to be constantly reminded of what He did and why He did it. Because He loves me. I am so amazed by His love towards His people, I mean, after all He went through, He was PRAYING for His people on the cross, praying for the ones who did all that to Him! (Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”) It instills in me this deep affection for Him and desire to love Him in return and be pleasing in His sight.
So Saturday I was still grieving over the movie and the atrocity of His death. Now before I go into what took place next let me just say that this decision our family has made is just that, our decision. It’s what we believe is best for our family. We make choices based on personal convictions and in no way do we look at others and think they should model after us. We all are to model after the example Christ set and are to listen to Him when He speaks to us individually.
My heart was aching on Saturday. And I became aware of how distracted we (the Graham’s) can become on this Easter occasion. Distracted by bunny rabbits, egg hunts, our cute “Easter family photo” and gift baskets for our girls. Satan is so clever. On the weekend that Jesus sacrificed His life and rose again, satan put in someones mind to make this weekend about a bunny rabbit that leaves our undeserving kids presents for no reason (other than the fact that it’s spring?) which in turn revolves the whole holiday around candy and eggs and egg hunts and so forth. Are you serious??? And we have fallen for it! Why couldn’t this bunny come another weekend?? I’ll tell ya why, because then Jesus’ weekend would be ALL HIS and satan doesn’t want that. I’m sorry if I’m getting a bit heated over this. I just feel like why on earth has Easter become more about US and our children getting cheap toys and candy? And what message are we sending them?? I know Jason and I (and all Christian parents I’m sure) make it a point to tell their kids and ensure they really KNOW what Easter is REALLY about. But I feel like that message would be far more impacting if this past weekend was ALL about Him. No egg hunts, no baskets, just the reflection of His sacrifice and celebration of His resurrection and LIFE! Wouldn’t it be more impacting if we were to do our best, really strive, to instill in them the weight of His sacrifice? I’m not suggesting you show your 5-year-old The Passion but I’m sure they have age appropriate Christian movies about the event. And then after that, to get wrapped up in the excitement of His resurrection! To show our children that we need to be overjoyed that He is risen! Tell your friends, your family, your neighbors, STRANGERS, He is ALIVE and He lives in me! That’s what we believe should take place on this weekend.
We did come up with a way for our girls to enjoy the festivities that every other child no doubt will be doing. There is no Easter bunny. But we will do a spring egg hunt on a completely separate weekend. What’s important to us is that our children grow up knowing that Easter weekend isn’t about anyone but Him. And to make that distinction we have chosen to remove any other distractions that might take the focus off of Him. We live in a culture that is inundated with over indulgence. One of the greatest indulgences I believe is our own kids. They have more and get more than they want or need. So, I really don’t think our kids will be deprived if they don’t get a basket on Easter.
Hallelujah Jesus is alive!