Painful & BEAUTIFUL.

4/1
((from Jessica, substituting for Bridget while she & her family are away.))

With Easter decorations strewn on the floor and a picture book open, I sat with my kiddos on the living room floor and once again, shared the good, hard, and bittersweet news of Jesus and the sinner’s cross.

I told them about the donkey, the palm branches, and the shouts of “Hosanna!”

I told them about the bread and the wine and the washing of the stinky feet.

I told them about the difficult prayer in the garden and the Savior’s total submission.

I told them about the 30 pieces of silver, the betrayer, and the rooster who crowed.

I told them about the Romans and their fears, about the disciples and their tears.

I told them about the lies, the taunting, and the jeers.

I told them about the whip and the wounds, the crown and the thorns.

I told them about the long road, the heavy cross, and the men who flanked His sides.

I told them about His last words and His final breath, the dark sky and the mighty quake.

But before I could finish the rest of the news, my thoughtful son with pain-streaked eyes took a giant sigh and quietly said…

“Mommy, Easter is painful.” 

With tears in my eyes and a frog in my throat, I nodded and quietly agreed.

Because it’s true; it’s very, VERY true.

Easter IS painful. 

It’s a painful reminder…

of our debt and His rejection;

of our transgressions and His grief;

of our weaknesses and His punishment;

of our rebellion and His sorrows;

of our sins and His death.

It’s a reminder of what we deserved, but He took. 

Unjustly condemned,

harshly treated,

nastily beaten,

unfairly labeled,

and utterly crushed…

He wore our stripes and took our pain. 

A righteous servant,

a silent lamb,

a humble servant,

and a majestic God…

He bore our sins and took our place.  

Treated like a criminal,

exposed like a rebel,

and offered like a lamb…

He laid it ALL down. 

“Buddy, you’re right. You’re so very, very right. Easter is painful. But you know what else Easter is?”

“What?”

“Easter IS beauty.”

It’s beauty because when the stone was rolled away…

our sins were covered;

our debt was paid;

our rebellion was redeemed;

our eternity was secured;

our hope was restored;

and the wrath of God was satisfied…

ONCE and for ALL.

“And THAT sweet boy, is exactly why Easter is oh so painful and oh so beautiful.” 

Hopers, I don’t know what painful season you are experiencing and what hard you are walking right now but because of Easter, beauty will come. And though it might not resemble the shape we want or the timeline we want, beauty will come.

Because truly, beauty can arise in the midst (and in spite of) the scars. 

As the band, I AM THEY, sings:

Waking up to a new sunrise
Looking back from the other side
I can see now with open eyes

Darkest water and deepest pain
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
‘Cause my brokenness brought me to you
And these wounds are a story you’ll use

So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars

Now I’m sending in confidence
With the strength of your faithfulness
And I’m not who I was before
No, I don’t have to fear anymore

So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars

I can see, I can see
How you delivered me
In your hands, in your feet
I found my victory
I can see, I can see
How you delivered me
In your hands, in your feet
I found my victory

I’m thankful for your scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And with my life, I’ll tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful
I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars
So forever I am thankful for the scars

 

Oh, heavenly Father, let us celebrate this season of Easter with humble hearts and remember with thankful spirits, marveling at the ways you bring beauty from the pain… hope in the hard.

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