Friday, 29 March 2013

THE REAL DEAL ABOUT EASTER.

Around the world today, Christians remember a brutal execution in the Middle East which happened about two millennia ago. Though thousands of people were crucified by the Roman government, this particular execution was accompanied by some strange occurrences. The land was thrown into darkness for three hours, then an earthquake shook Jerusalem as a carpenter from Nazareth died. One Roman centurion said, "Surely this was the Son of God." In itself, that declaration was amazing.

It's a shame that my first recollections of Easter weren't connected with what the Son of God accomplished on the cross. I remember my mom telling my sister, brother, and me that she had a special treat for us as we finished eating our breakfast cereal. She opened the cupboard drawer where she kept paper bags and the like, then pulled out a handful of chocolate eggs wrapped in multi-coloured foil. Then she unwrapped Roy's egg since he was too young to do that on his own.

My Easter egg had blue, red, and silver patterns on it. I admired them for a few seconds, then unwrapped my treat. The creamy centre and rich milk chocolate tasted so sweet that I ate the whole thing quickly.

"Can I have another one?" I asked Mom as I licked my fingers.

"No," she sad sadly, "That's all there is. That's all the Easter Bunny left."

I felt disappointed as I wondered why he didn't leave us more than the three that Mom found. That seemed to be the way with all tasty goodies. Boring foods such as potatoes and peas were plentiful but chocolate bars and candies were always in short supply.

I remember learning about Christ's crucifixion in Sunday school each Easter but I didn't apply his awesome gift of salvation to my life until I was almost thirteen years old. Perhaps it was the way the Anglican and Lutheran teachers told the story that made it seem like some long-ago event with no connection to my life. Whatever it was that hindered my understanding, everything suddenly fell into place once I realized that the only way to heaven is to surrender my life to Jesus.

Though I still enjoy chocolate Easter eggs today, I now delight in knowing that I'm an adopted child of the King of Kings. The "good" in Good Friday isn't that an innocent man died a horrible death but that the Son voluntarily swapped his innocence for our guilt and satisfied God's righteous justice. What an amazing transfer salvation is.

I mentioned my redemption experience in Deliverance From Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School and what followed that in my newly-published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir. This testimony of God's amazing grace toward me is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.