At seven years old on a hot Saturday night in early July I vividly remember asking my mom and dad if we could “go talk” after dinner.
I was a rather dramatic child, especially for my age.
But on this particular evening I’m not sure if we can chalk it up the dramatic side of me, or if something in me knew…my life was going to change forever that night.
Eternity would be sealed.
That night I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Just like everyone else I haven’t had a “perfect” walk with Him. Far from it in fact. Some years as Easter approached my focus was less on the cross as I would have liked. Though growing up we were never even introduced to the Easter bunny concept, we did wake up to Easter baskets at the breakfast table and had Easter egg hunts with the eggs we had dyed the day before. Some years my mind seemed to be consumed with the goodies that awaited me in my basket the next morning than the fact that we were celebrating my risen Lord.
As I got older some years I did focus more on that. I even remember one year in high school promising not to watch any television from Good Friday morning until Easter night. I think I made it until about lunch time on Saturday. After that my mind was just on all my guilt for my epic failure of a commitment. Perfect, I know. One year while I was in college my mind was totally swept up by some silly new guy that I had obsessively started talking to all week leading up to Easter, then we planned a “date” at the upcoming Good Friday service at my church. Which clearly was a rock solid plan I had there as well. The date was a nightmare. So was my heart and mind.
I am not trying to say that there is a right or wrong way to approach this Holy Week (though I probably wouldn’t recommend some of mine). If there is anything I have learned it’s the fact that God can take the most messed up approaches and turn them into beauty. After all, there is no formula for this kind of thing. However as I have grown older I have found a distinct shift in my heart as this time of year approaches-especially during this week. Because this week changed everything for us.
If there would have been no cross there would have been no salvation, no hope, no redemption. It could come no other way. No plan B.
I believe that because of the work on that cross on Calvary that you have not sinned so much that He can’t forgive you.
You have not gone so far that He cannot reach you.
You have not sunk so low that He cannot lift you.
You have not stayed gone so long that He no longer knows you.
You have not said so much that He has nothing else to say to you.
You have not sold your soul until He cannot redeem you.
You have not destroyed/been destroyed so much that He cannot rebuild you.
You have not hated/been hated so much that He cannot love you.
You have not been dead so long that He cannot raise you.
That’s what this week is. Holy. Miraculous. Dying to flesh. Raising to life. Anyone needing some of that in their life too? Right there with you sister.
So no, I don’t have a formula for approaching Holy Week. I’m not trying to dismiss or disapprove family traditions or fun activities for the children. I’m simply praying for a focused mind, a heart towards the cross, for what is life-changing this week. My prayer being that our eyes be opened, and yes, even re-opened, today to the power of the cross thousands of years ago.