Journeys & Writings of Paul

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter reflections

I have three loves in life: Jesus, helping others, and my cat. (Okay, so the last one is a bit of a joke, but I seriously have more love in my heart for my cat than may be appropriate to be designated toward an animal.) Back to being serious…

The first love in my life is Jesus. Jesus is the single most important thing to me and he is central to my own identity. Today is Easter, the day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the messiah.

I am remembering my Uncle Joe and my Pepa* on this day, who both passed away last year. I am still grieving their absence from my life, but am able to rejoice because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, those who believe will also be raised to life after death.

Flower heart from Pepa's funeral last April

I am so thankful today as we remember and celebrate Jesus' sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection. The authors of Romans and Ephesians say it well:

 7 “Blessed are those
   whose transgressions are forgiven,
   whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed are those
   whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
Romans 4:7,8
 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
-Ephesians 2:1-9
*Pepa is my paternal grandfather. When my eldest cousin Nicole started talking she couldn't say "grandpa", but instead pronounced it "Pepa". It stuck and thus was how he was referred to by his grandchildren.

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