Easter, it’s not about a tradition, it’s not a ritual, it has nothing to do with a rabbit who hides eggs and very little to do with chocolate. It’s about a Man with a beautiful heart and His story of furious love for people.

Jesus is the Man who saw a treasure hidden in your life, like the treasure hidden in the field, and He sold everything to purchase you (Matthew 13:44). He’s the man who searched through eternity and saw your life as a pearl of great price and gave everything to have you (Matthew 13:45-46). At Easter we celebrate this man and His beautiful heart. We celebrate how He looked at us and when everyone else saw brokenness, sinfulness, mistakes, sickness, failure and mess He saw beauty. He saw something worth redeeming, something worth healing, something worth restoring to a far greater perfection that it ever was at any time previously.

And the price. His very life. That’s what it cost Him and that’s what He gave freely and for the joy set before Him. It was hard for Him to go to the cross. It was hard but it was also joyful – joy in a deeply spiritual way, the kind that can go hand in hand with great suffering. He saw the joy that you would give Him when you began to walk into your redemption and He cried out, “Father, I desire…” That prayer in John 17:24 is a picture of the furious longing of His heart even on the cross. His is the desire of a bridegroom for His bride. His is the heart of a beloved Son to please a Father.

As He pushed all the weight of His body onto the nails in His feet to grab another breathe He prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) As His exhausted muscles began to give way, He looked down and remembered His mother, “Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:27) As He began to run low on breath He looked over at the repentant criminal crucified next to Him and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Till the very end passion for you and passion for His Father drove Him on.

I don’t think Easter should be so sad on Good Friday and then a celebration on Sunday. It is finished. Jesus has conquered. He’s alive, now we’re alive and we will never die. It should be a celebration of awe and worship and proclamation about the beauty of Jesus’ heart.

He’s alive today. He’s full of joy today. He’s on His throne today and He’s still crying out, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave me would be with me where I am…” (John 17:24)

J. Ratcliffe

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