Resurrect the Joy of Your Easter Celebrations!

By on March 10, 2018

In the middle of life’s trials, celebrating Easter can feel like more of a burden than it was intended to be. “Resurrection Sunday” celebrations can be tough when we prepare to gather with difficult relatives or maybe feel left out completely. I know.

In our family, Easter is traditionally “our” holiday: in other words, our turn to cook, clean, host, and deal with a mixed group of relatives and friends. Since most of my family lives too far away to join us, it is usually my husband’s family that comes for Easter dinner, along with friends who have no place to go. Over the years, I have noticed a real contrast between our celebrations and Christ’s intentions.

Our gatherings are sometimes painful reminders of losses we experienced that year, or of old wounds resurfacing, or of a sense that we don’t really “belong.” Yet the beautiful message of Christ is that through His resurrection, we have received an invitation too good to refuse! We are loved by Someone who never forgets us and always welcomes us.

When “doubting Thomas” refused to believe Jesus had risen, Jesus came to him personally and showed him the scars in his side. When two disciples on the Emmaus road walked and talked about Christ’s recent death, Jesus appeared to them and comforted them. That Christ, in the midst of the most miraculous event in world history – His own resurrection – would take the time to comfort two grieving believers, is beyond me! What a savior!


God Never Forgets Us

We are not the first people to worry about being neglected or abandoned. Israel did the same thing long ago, under Babylonian captivity. The temptation in our affliction is to doubt God’s goodness. God’s solution is to grant a personal invitation for us to be with Him – forever.

“But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”  ~Isaiah 49:14


God (through the prophet Isaiah) uses imagery that all of us can relate to, describing the strongest bond known to man. It would be unthinkable for a mother to forget her own child. Yet even if this happened, God would never forget you. This isn’t the only time God uses such language. Take a look at another scripture:

“Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”      ~Isaiah 46:4

God promises, in decidedly feminine language, to bear with us through thick and thin: He made us, He will bear us, He carries us and He delivers us. The language He uses is all related to childbearing and pregnancy.

To give you a frame of reference, I have made, borne, carried, and delivered three children, each one bigger and heavier than the last. Morning sickness was actually all-day sickness for me, lasting not just three months but all nine. When my third child was delivered, at a whopping 10 pounds, 2 ounces, I decided that was all the experience I needed with childbearing and pregnancy! I do adore my children, and childbirth was worth it, but I am very glad not to be carrying them anymore!

I’m sure it is at least as difficult for God to bear my sins as it was for me to bear my babies. Yet even so, God still chooses to put up with me. Why? Because He made me, it’s worth it, and I belong to Him:

“I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me! I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” ~Isaiah 44:21b22

Just as I would not have abandoned the process of carrying my children to term or willfully failed to deliver them at the appropriate time, so God does not abandon His commitment to bear with me in love or to redeem and deliver me. No matter how difficult the situation, He is in it for the long haul. He completes what He begins.


God Loves and Delivers Us

Christ “…made Himself of no reputation, 
taking the form of a bond-servant and 
coming in the likeness of men… 
He humbled Himself and became obedient 
to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
~Philippians 2:7

The apostle Paul writes, not by accident here, that Christ became a bond-servant, someone committed to the will of his master. The Israelite law for Hebrew servants described a specific ritual for the servant who chose to remain with his master forever:

“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing… But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”  ~Exodus 21:2-6 

A faithful servant who wished to remain with his master was required to have his ear pierced with an awl on the doorpost – the same place the Israelites were commanded to put the blood of the Passover lamb – as a sign of deliverance:

“For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.” ~Exodus 12:23

Hallelujah! Jesus Christ, God’s suffering servant, allowed Himself to be pierced for me, that I would know He wanted to be with me always. His death on the cross was His statement of intent to serve His Master forever. As ruler of God’s household, He has become my Lord and Savior. The nail marks on His palms are His inscriptions of love for me, as a true servant of Israel. His blood delivers me from the destroyer and any claims he might make over my life. God has given me my own personal “Passover!”


The beauty of this resurrection season is that I now know that I am never alone, never forgotten by the One person who matters most. Not only that, but I am also promised deliverance from whatever afflictions trouble me. Whenever I feel abandoned or neglected, I have only to look at the inscriptions in His hands to know that He will never leave me or forsake me. There is no greater comfort than that. I pray that all who gather in my home for Easter will know that kind of love, too.

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, 
He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:8

 

Reflect on this: Are there times when you feel neglected by people you expect to love and care for you? Could God be challenging you to transfer those expectations over to Him – the One who will never fail you?

 

© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com

Deborah Perkins is the Founder and CEO of His Inscriptions, a ministry that helps people discover “Life-Giving Communication with God.” You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube, or subscribe to her free weekly blog here. Her newest book, Life-Giving Prayer, is now available on Amazon.

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Resurrect the Joy of Your Easter Celebrations!