What do you see … In Easter?

cross_4_edit_2There’s just something about this time of the year. The trees are beginning to bud and the flowers are pushing through the soil. Weekends are filled with neighbors busily working in their yards getting ready for the celebration of Easter Sunday. Stores are filled with mothers shopping for their children’s Easter outfits and many children are excitedly decorating baskets and coloring eggs for the annual Easter egg hunt.

I know you can relate with me that it’s almost impossible to walk in the super market without seeing the many Easter candies, decorations and not buying a cart full. Yet the many different ways people see this holiday is as numerous as the many different kinds of candy for the day itself. Some see it as a day for family fun and others see it as games in the sun, while still others a time for spiritual communion. No matter what age people might be many will look at Easter differently.

In John 20:1-8, we see three different views of the empty tomb from three individuals who had been followers of Jesus. Mary Magdalene who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities (Lk 8:2), faithful John the beloved (Jn 21:20) and Peter who

The tomb is Empty because He is not there for He is risen

had days earlier denied Jesus three times (Jn. 18:17-27). Jesus had been falsely convicted and scourged to inches of His life and then violently crucified before all Jerusalem. Then as if to cover and seal this horrendous demonic act He is buried in a tomb to be forgotten, or is He?

In verse one we read where Mary rises before dawn to go to the tomb where she finds the stone rolled away making the tomb open and alarming. She looks and immediately runs back and with the announcement that Jesus had been taken from the tomb arouse the disciples. Franticly, Peter and John run to the place where Jesus had been laid and John being first looks in the vacant tomb with out entering. When Peter arrives he goes on in and sees the empty space with the intriguing evidence of the folded headscarf. They all three looked at the situation and drew their conclusions resulting in their different responses.

If we inspect a little deeper the words that are used in Johns account we see that there our three different words used to describe how these three looked at the empty tomb. Mary, who came first with spices as well as John in the beginning looked with a

I owed a debt I could not pay and Jesus paid a debt He did not owe.

casual glance, which brought Mary to tears and grief (Jn.20:11-15). Peter as he arrived passed up John and went into the tomb and looked as a critical spectator, which resulted in him going back to his old lifestyle. Finally John who started out looking casually now goes into the tomb after Peter and inspects the evidence and remembering Jesus words perceives with understanding, which leads him to believe.

Now this leads me to the day we live in where there seems to be so many people with so many different perspectives about the Easter story, which will result in many different outcomes in their lives. Those that see it as just chocolate bunnies, chicks and eggs seem to live with no eternal perspective and without hope. Then there’s those that have a slight grasp of its religious meaning, yet because of their lack of understanding live with a critical and cynical view point. But, there’s one more group that have ventured to go in deeper with faith filled vision choosing to believe the message that Jesus is risen as the angel declared! (Lk.24:6) What do you see? I choose to believe He is risen indeed, how about you?

My Father Always Let Me Find Him

hide n seek girlDuring the beautiful summer nights most kids enjoy playing hide and seek in their neighborhoods or at family gatherings. I am sure you were also raised playing this popular game throughout your childhood.
The thrill and adventure of either being the best person to hide or the one who is known as the one who can find everyone, seems to promote the game to every kid.

Some of my fondest memories were when my father would play “hide -n- seek” with my siblings and I in our jammies before bedtime. We would all get our turn to be the one who would count and then go and seek, trying to find everyone else. I didn’t realize until I was older, that my father would deliberately let me find him. Whether it was by making a little noise or by not being hid very well, he would help me.

From the very beginning of time our heavenly Father has enjoyed being with us and wants us close to Him.   (tweet)

If you really think about it, my father could have made it hard and probably impossible to find him, but he didn’t! He wanted me to find him so he could cuddle and love on me.

In the scriptures we see the same loving character of our heavenly Father. In Jer 29:13-14 we see where it says, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the LORD…” (NKJ) The two words, seek and search describes one who is passionately and diligently inquiring after God.  If we are whole-heartedly striving after God, He promises us that He will let us find Him.

In the story of Adam and Eve in the midst of the Garden of Eden, we see that after they had been enticed into sin hid from God. It was their guilt and shame that pushed them to hide from the one that had made them and loved them. The Biblical story in Genesis 3:8-10 goes on to say, “the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” This statement wasn’t because God didn’t know where they were, but was asking them if they knew that they were separating themselves. From the very beginning of time our heavenly Father has enjoyed being with us and wants us close to Him. God doesn’t like being separated from us. We even see Him allow to be called “Emanuel” meaning “God with us”.

Yet, so many people because of deception have fallen into the clutches of sin, driving them to hide in shame.  And even though God is well able to deliver us from ever falling into sin He gives us a free choice to walk away from Him. In Isa. 59:1 we read that when we sin it puts a wedge between us, and the lover of our soul. Yet, if you do, remember just as the Father in the story of the prodigal son looked for and ran to the wayward son when he returned, so your heavenly Father desires the same for you. It’s so important for us to understand how much God loves us and wants to hold us in His Fatherly arms of love.

I encourage you therefore, whether you are hiding or are on a journey of seeking after God. Be convinced and know that your heavenly Father wants to be with you. If you seek after him passionately and diligently, He will be found by you and if need be, He will also never quit seeking after you!