Easter comes around every year, pandemic or no pandemic. Unfortunately, it’s become more about candy-filled eggs and cute bunnies than a celebration of our Savior’s sacrifice. Even if your family dyes eggs and eats lots of candy at Easter (like mine), we as Christians need to take it further. We need to remember.
Yesterday was Good Friday. When I think of Jesus’ death, though, “good” is not the first word that comes to mind. Quite the opposite: it infuriates and saddens me when I hear or read about Jesus’ death. It was so cruel and humiliating and unfair! And then, as I read how He turned down chance-after-chance to save His life, I remember that it was all done for us. It was done for me. He did it for you. And that should change us.
Besides, the story didn’t end with His death. That’s what makes Easter so special. Jesus rose again and conquered death!
We were Barabbus, the mocking crowd, the Pharisees, and we often fall right back into doubting and sin. We were cruel and hated Jesus. We wanted sinful pleasure and all the dirtiness of the world. Then Jesus called us and changed us. Jesus laid down His life for us. Freely. Lovingly. May we never doubt His love!
He did the work so we could be accepted into His family. We don’t have to work hard to be accepted. Instead, God helps us to believe, accepts us, and then He makes us more like Him. What an awesome God we have!
If you’re not in total awe right now, I want to share something more with you. Today, Tuesday, and Saturday, I’ll be releasing my new short story, Found. It’s an allegory of the gospel. Sometimes stories help me to step back and see the truth more clearly, and I hope that this story will do that for you. Enjoy, and don’t forget that God loves YOU.
This part of the story is about our lives before we were saved.
The girl’s bare feet pounded the dirt road. She heard the heavy breathing and loud shouts of her pursuers and felt a sharp pain in her lungs. She grasped her loaf of bread tighter and made a last sprint. The girl quickly darted into a back alley and slammed against the brick wall. Her heart pounded. Her lungs cried for air. Ignoring the pain, she held her breath as her pursuers, unaware of the thief’s whereabouts, dashed by the alley.
As she lurked in the shadows, she heaved a sigh of relief. She was safe, and the bread was hers. The reckless thief was only 16 years old. She had a thick, tangled mess of auburn curls, and her face wore only a layer of dirt and a harsh scowl. Her thin body was clothed with a tattered dress, and her eyes bore a look of wild determination. She bit ravenously at the loaf of stolen bread and quickly looked around between bites. She was a thief who lived to steal and stole to live. Her many other crimes, unknown and horribly wicked, kept her in the shadows and gloom. She had spent most of her life hurting the innocent, and she hardly gave them a second thought. She only loved and cared for herself and worked only for her own survival.
The townspeople ascribed many crude and horrible names to her, but no one knew her true name or family. Ironically, though she never said a word, all the energy and effort in the town were often directed at her. She often grinned at the thought that she was the “most popular” girl in town. She really shouldn’t have mocked their anger though. The townspeople thought her best for the prison or even the gallows. They were always on the lookout for her, and her face was drawn onto hundreds of posters around the province, offering large rewards for her capture. Despite her despicable state, however, there was one thing that she could take pride in. No matter how quickly her pursuers came, she always escaped. She could outrun any man, woman, or child she met. Only her quick feet kept her out of prison and alive.
As rain began to drizzle, the young girl stuffed her mouth with the remaining crumbs of bread and crept further into the shadows.
After she had walked some ways, familiar sounds met her ears. The familiar, however, was by no means the pleasant. She heard the loud shouts of men, sad cries of children, and shrill screams of women. She had no permanent home, but she could often find an uninhabited corner to rest in the dirtier section of town. The girl shooed a rat out of a dirty corner and wiped up some of the mud with her dress. She began to settle for sleep, trying to ignore the biting hunger inside her stomach. She was finally dozing off when deafening cries rose from the next alley. She rolled over, trying to block out the noise, but they only grew louder. Finally, she crept out into the light.
There, on the ground, was a man. The rough boys who lived in her area of town had ganged up on him and were mercilessly kicking him. The man was severely injured. Glad to not be the victim of the attack, the girl cruelly joined in. Soon, her shouts joined in the noise, and her kicks made it to the poor man’s damaged body. Finally, the boys walked away, assuming their victim to be dead. As the young girl started back to her measly corner, she gave a large yawn. While she stumbled back, she turned around for one last look at the stranger on the ground. Much to her surprise, however, he was gone without a trace.
I hope you all enjoyed that! I’m guessing some of you skipped to the end to find out the winner. Naughty, naughty! 😂 It’s okay, I probably would have done the same. But in all seriousness, after you find out the winner, go read the post! It’s a great way to remember what Easter is all about.
Okay, okay. You’re all begging to hear the winner of the challenge! I know, it’s hard to wait!
Without further ado, the winner of the hand-woven bracelet and the 2020 COVID-19 Challenge is…
Congratulations, Kiara! Your bracelet will be on it’s way soon!
Thank you to everyone who participated!! The competition was close!
And thanks for sharing your artwork, Aria! (Pictured below)
What is your favorite Easter tradition? What do you do to remember Christ’s sacrifice and victory?
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