Jesus the Messiah: It's Personal

 
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It was the first week in a while that snow wasn’t on the radar, but it had still been a weekend of storms. My phone went off at least five times in one day as five different friends reached out for prayer as they encountered what seemed like unending waves of pain entering into their lives. My spirit felt heavy and the presence of darkness undoubtedly palpable as I prayed over each name, each sorrow, each struggle, each worry, each revelation of bad news. Have you ever had one of those weeks? Where darkness and evil have somehow invaded so much so that the bad news seems it will never end?

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At the same time, I have been cleaning out the basement of the house I live in - my grandparents old home. While I love coming across some precious old items that bring warmth to my soul, I have also felt overwhelmed by all of the ways we so easily fill our lives with stuff - both physically and otherwise. At times, it has felt like a never ending abyss of boxes as I long for the room to feel lighter and brighter.

And so, on Tuesday, I found myself at Acme, filling my basket with as many little pots of tulips and hyacinth as I could fit. Because, though Easter wasn’t until Sunday, I decided Easter was also being celebrated, at least by me, today. I needed the promise of new life and hope and resurrection out of darkness to be the loudest voice I was hearing.

Last year I walked through the entire Bible through Hope’s Disciple small group. Something that I carried with me from that incredible experience was the phrase “Easter People.” Before Jesus, the people in the Old Testament were an exodus people. They understood God could lead them to freedom. They did not know He could free them from themselves.

As I listened to both Rick and Jeff (love those podcasts!) talk about Simon from Cyrene, I began to think about the profound experience Simon had because he got to experience, in real time, what it felt like to go from an exodus person … to an Easter person. As I think about this, I can’t lie - I am a little jealous him. I can only imagine what that must have been like to suddenly witness personal freedom from sin rise into existence. But I am even more so, incredibly grateful for the hope the I have as an Easter person. I get to rest in the existence of peace and freedom every day.

The incredible news, even in the darkest of circumstances, is that we get Easter. We get Easter EVERY. DAY. That statement alone makes me get on my knees. I need Easter. I need it every day. I need it when I am full of sorrow and grief. I also need it when I am full of joy and light. Because of Easter, I never have to feel separation from God. I never have to shoulder the burden of darkness alone because I have a Jesus who has power over it all.

So this week, I celebrated Easter on Tuesday. And today. And I’ll be doing it every day including this Sunday. Amen, indeed.

-Ashley Evans

 

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