Yesterday morning, Easter morning, I woke up thinking about Easter and the true meaning while perusing pictures on Google for a decent image representing what it means to me so that I could post it on Instagram. I found one that I liked, but it wasn’t the typical picture. It simply had some words. I didn’t realize, at the time, that God was planting something.
You may be wondering why the feature image you see on my Easter post is a woman clearly from the 80’s with stylish, but heavily hair-sprayed hair…read on, friends.
We went to church like so many people do on Easter Sunday. I kept thinking, in and out, of the words I had read on Google images. When the worship music had ended, Pastor Ryan got to the front and began with, “The resurrection of Jesus is what makes Christianity different from anything else.” This is something I’ve known, but, for some reason, never been able to articulate, or make into a concrete realization. I was pondering this until he continued with asking us to turn to 1 Peter 1:3-5. It says:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”
I have read 1 Peter many times. One of my favorites. But reading this with the resurrection and those words I read early that morning in mind, I was struck to tears. I was reminded of the difference the resurrection really does make, did make, makes every day in real lives. It isn’t a generic, blanket covering idea. It’s real. In fact, I recognized this verse from my life almost 3 years ago.
3 years ago, my husband Joel, was just hired by Young Life and we started our life in Texas. 3 years ago, my mom died. I felt so many feelings: grief, guilt, extreme sadness like I’ve never known before. I was alone with my feelings, no one in the world knowing exactly how my situation’s details made me feel.
During that time, I clung to these words Peter spoke so true.
The point though, is not my grief. My mom made some very poor, life-altering decisions, not just altering hers, but everyone’s around her, including my brother’s and mine. But what I did know, is that my mother loved and clung to Jesus, even through her failures. And those words of Peter, that truth, is what saved her for eternity, made her alive. Even if my mom was Mom of the Year, but didn’t know Jesus, that title wouldn’t have saved her when she left this world.
Pastor Ryan also brought up words in John 1:12-13:
“What God is offering us through the resurrection is the transformation from death to life.”
My mom isn’t alive with Jesus now because of all the great decisions she made in her life, but because of the one decision she made to make her alive.
Pastor Ryan left us with this, “‘The gospel [the true story about Jesus] isn’t about making good people better, it’s about making dead people alive.'”