John 13:34 (NIV)
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Easter is all about love. Jesus showed His genuine love for us by willingly dying on our behalf on a lonely, abandoned cross. However love cannot be permanently killed, and three days later He was alive again. And the best part is, He offers us the possibility of becoming truly alive for eternity as well!
Love sure makes a difference. Take, for example this story that I read,
“Please sir, step aside!”
Utterly confused, I stepped aside as ordered. I had carefully removed any metallic objects from my pockets, and I certainly didn’t like attention riveted on myself in such a high alert security area!
The security agent then took my briefcase that had undergone a thorough x-ray examination, and removed my Swiss Army pocket knife from one of the side pockets. I had purchased that knife in Switzerland three years earlier, I had placed it in that bag about a year ago for a camping trip, and I had completely forgotten it was there!
“Is this yours?” he said chillingly.
I couldn’t deny it. It was truly my own pocket knife.
“You have three choices,” he said. “You can either throw it out, you can mail it back to yourself, or you can put it in storage.”
Unfortunately, there was no post office anywhere nearby! The only way I could mail it back to myself was if there were a self-addressed, stamped envelope hidden in another pocket! That one was completely out of the question! And storage? That would mean going back out into the main airport and having to go through security yet another time!
Now the knife was a nice one, and it served as a wonderful reminder of a previous trip to Switzerland. But was it really worth the trouble? I was about to opt to choice 1, when my wife jumped in with, “You can’t throw that knife away. It’s special to my husband.” She then volunteered to go back into the airport to find a place to store it. Before I could do anything, she was already gone with the knife.
Only one tiny problem: She had no money with her! Hopefully we could pay the storage area when we came back from our trip!
Half an hour later, she passed the security check again. Her smile made her stand out amongst the many passengers that were far from elated about what was awaiting them.
“So?” I asked.
“Storage was 5$ a day. Way too expensive!”
“Then you threw it out.”
“I did better than that!” she laughed. “There is more than one way to solve a problem, especially when you pray!”
She had hid it under the railing of one of the airport elevators, completely out of sight, and sure enough, once we were back from our destination, my Swiss Army knife was still waiting for me!
That is love, my friends, pure unselfish love. My wife didn’t have to go to all that trouble. I was ready to throw the knife out, but she saw it differently. If that knife was important to her husband, than it was worthwhile to take any necessary efforts to secure its existence.
As I read the story I realized just how much God really cares for us! A broken relationship is never ideal, and we humans have done a pretty good job turning our backs on our Maker. Nonetheless, God loved us so tenderly that He couldn’t just sit back and watch us join the ranks of thrown away pocket knives, so He did the impossible: He sacrificed Himself to a horrible death, the death we deserved, in order that we could experience Him again, forever this time!
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:13
This Easter we also have three options:
1. We can ignore Easter completely.
2. We can toss it in the garbage. This we can do either by being content with chasing after Easter eggs and eating ourselves sick with Easter chocolate Yummm Yummm! . . . Really? Or by simply being indifferent about the reason behind Easter. Who cares about resurrection anyway? We are all going to die! . . . Isn’t that faulty logic?
3. Or we can pursue the real reason behind Easter. If it hadn’t been for Jesus, there never would have been an Easter to celebrate, which means no Easter eggs!
Easter is truly built on pure, undiluted love. Easter bunnies may be tasty, but God’s love is even tastier!
Dear Lord, we thank You for this special day to recognize what You have done for all of us . In Jesus’ Name, Amen.