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Words by VLB

He is Risen

Hello friends, and Happy Easter! God's amazing grace, His selfless love, and the resurrection power are rockin' my world right now, and so I wanted to share my thoughts.

I love Easter for many reasons, some of which are shallow, while others are truly so important. If you know me, you're aware that I LOVE candy and all things pink - both of which Easter brings in abundance. I'm also a big fan of brunch, dressing up for church, and family time. Easter really seems to bring all my favorites together.

But, even more so than pastel dresses or Cadbury Creme Eggs, I love that Easter is a whole day to celebrate Jesus! He has truly done so much for me, and for you, whether you know that now or not.

The majority this blog focuses on the hard stuff I'm working through. A large portion of my struggle comes from my lack of trust in God's plan and provision for my life. My point here, is that I don't have it all together. Even on my best day, I fall short. I spent a lot of my life chasing after perfection, and when I couldn't attain it, my self confidence diminished and I started filling that empty space in my heart with the wrong things.

But this is why Easter is so, so sweet!! When we were still a long way off - broken, judgmental, rude, overindulgent, prideful, envious, greedy - God saw His creation and thought, "this isn't the life I want for them." He never wanted us to live in this dark, self deprecating cycle. We can try with all our might to break free of this sin and find something bigger to live for, but we just can't do it on our own.

But that's where Jesus comes in. God, the Creator of the universe, sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to walk the Earth for 30-some years. While Jesus was here, He never gave into temptation like we so easily do, but instead, He loved the people around Him without fail, healed the broken and the sick, and lived a perfectly sin-free life. He brought hope to a world that so desperately needed it.

All the while, Jesus knew His ultimate purpose for His time here - He was to die a brutal death on a cross for the sins of all people.

And so, even after a perfect life, Jesus endured the pain of being unfairly punished, mocked, and murdered on a cross. Because before Jesus' death, believers in God had to follow lots of rules and regulations to pay the price for their sins. Again, this was not the life of freedom God had in mind for His people. So God watched His son live a perfect life on earth, and He also watched Him die the death of the worst criminal.

Here's what really gets me - Jesus died for me, and for you, and for every single person on this earth. Even on my best day, I come up short. I feel like my actions aren't worthy of this high price. But that's how much I'm loved. I was worth it to Jesus. You were worth it to Jesus. The people who battered and bruised Jesus - they were worth it too.

But...the story doesn't end there. After 3 days, Jesus' friends went to go check on His body in a tomb wasn't there! Instead, they saw Jesus alive, up and at 'em, back at it! He defeated death and rose from the grave, and because of this, Jesus told us that we get to spend our eternity in Heaven with Him. All we have to do is believe in faith that this is true, and that He is good.

And, I know - this life doesn't always feel like our definition of good. Even on Easter, as encouraging and empowering as it is to know that He is risen and we are free - my earthly doubts and disappointments still linger in the back of my mind.

But even still, I'm floored when I think about how Jesus' earthly family and friends, as well as His Heavenly Father, must have felt when they watched Jesus die. I can't even imagine how less-than-good that day felt. I don't think many people on earth were calling God "good" when Jesus took His final breath.

Yet, that day changed the course of history, forever. As the world wept, God knew something better was coming. While those three days of darkness didn't make sense to Jesus' people on earth, God still had a plan. God used the sorrow and sadness to save humanity.

And, I don't know about you, but that fills my weary heart with hope. I'm thankful, not only for an excuse to eat chocolate at 8am, but more so for the Easter reminder that God's goodness is always right around the corner. He's always working because He loves us and wants us to find freedom. Maybe I feel lost, confused and alone right now, but I don't know what God could possibly have in store for the future on earth.

What I do know, is that I have an eternity in Heaven waiting for me, all because of Jesus' death and resurrection. I have a God so good that He sent his only son to die for my sins and made Jesus rise again!

And so, when life is messy and it's hard to truly believe that God is good, I'll remember the empty tomb we celebrate on Easter Sunday.

I'll never fully understand God's love for humanity while I'm here, but that's alright. As long as I'm on earth, I'll keep trying, asking God for new revelations of His love. This past Easter, I think I grasped the power of the Gospel a little more, and I'll never be the same because of it.

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