He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
As we reflect on the past Lenten season and the celebration of Easter, we are once again reminded of God's grace and love for us. How incomprehensible that God would send His beloved Son to inhabit a human body and be put to death on a cross, carrying the sins of the entire world with Him! And yet, even more astounding - Jesus didn't stay dead! He rose again on Easter day, proving that God has power over everything (even death!), sin has no hold on us, and we have a God who loves us more than we can fathom.
Hannah asked me in the car today on the way to school, "Mommy, when Jesus was on the cross, why did He say, 'Forgive Me'?"
What an awesome opportunity! I explained to Hannah that He actually said "Forgive them," and then I explained what He meant. On the surface, Jesus was asking God the Father to forgive the ones who had nailed Him on the cross and written his death sentence. But, much more importantly, He was asking God to forgive all the billions and trillions and zillions of sins committed by every single person who has ever lived on planet Earth. Every single one of us is a sinner. And the Bible says that even one teensy, tiny sin sets us apart from God. We are totally lost, helpless, and hopeless. BUT! God loves us so much, that He made a way for our sins to be forgiven - Jesus. Because the sinless, perfect Son of God took every one of those sins upon Himself, they have been paid for. God now sees me (and all believers) through the "lens" of Jesus - He no longer sees my sin and accepts me with open arms into His presence. This gives me the assurance of Heaven when I die. Praise God!
So anyway, I explained all of this in "3-year-old language," and Hannah was satisfied. But what a way to start the morning - I think I was still waking up at the time :-)
Okay, now that you've gotten through the theology, we have a new slide show below with Easter pictures. This was a really neat Easter in some ways. It's the first time that Hannah has been old enough to understand what Easter is really all about. She understands that Jesus died on the cross and rose again. She can tell you all about the empty tomb how the angels told the women at the tomb that He was alive. She knows that He appeared to and visited with many people over the next 40 days. It's really cool that she asks to read her Bible at night and is starting to get the idea that everything that happened in her Bible really did happen.
It was kind of a hard Easter though too. For one, it was the very first Easter of my life that I wasn't with my family. We didn't go to church on Maundy Thursday (too late at night for the girls), missed most of Good Friday service (traffic), and then our Easter celebration was actually on Saturday (our church has a big "Eggstravaganza" on Saturday and encourages members to worship then, leaving room Sunday for visitors). So on Easter Sunday, we didn't go to church, but spent the day together as a family, reading the Easter story out of several different books Hannah has and the girls were given Easter gifts from us. Hannah did get to hunt for her Easter eggs and she loved that. But to top it all off, it snowed on Easter! I mean, come on! Apparently this is one of the coldest, wettest springs St. Louis has had in a while. Great. Thanks. Can I please wear short sleeves one of these days?
So anyway, enjoy the pictures. I especially like the ones showing what happened when Bethie found one of Hannah's shiny new eggs and discovered that there was something inside!