through His Word
Tessa Emily Hall writes the last guest post in our Easter series this month. Tessa is a good writer friend who loves to write novels, act, and make crafts. Her creative spirit is inspiring, as is this post about the gift of Easter.
When I was a kid, Easter meant painting eggs and finding Easter baskets. It meant sneaking a few bites of my chocolate bunny before church, then going on an Easter egg hunt afterwards.
As I grew older, though, the real meaning of Easter became more than just a Bible story I was taught year after year. Easter became more significant to me than just another commercial holiday.
As it should have. Because I soon realized that my salvation in Christ was the Greatest Gift I could have ever received.
Over time, however, I’ve forgotten that this present isn’t just to be opened once; rather, it’s never-ending. It’s the Ultimate Gift that never ends, and I get to look forward to unwrapping it every day of my life. Not just on the day that I received my salvation.
Wouldn’t it be silly if I left a present unwrapped on my birthday, simply because I received one last year? What if I treated it as if it were simply decoration, just to admire, yet never did tear off the wrapping and cherish the contents inside?
Likewise, I hear the story of Jesus’ death so often that sometimes I find myself simply admiring the story. I forget to delve deeper and actually treasure the core of the gift, which contains:
Salvation. I am no longer held captive by the chains of my sins. My old life has been buried with Christ, and my new life has been resurrected with Him (Rom 6:4). Because of Jesus’ death, I am a new creation! (2 Cor 5:17)
“He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” ~Colossians 2:14 (NLT)
Hope. Easter reminds me that it’s not over. Death has already been defeated, and no matter what I go through in life, there is always a reason to hope, because I know how the story ends: Christ is coming again!
“He will swallow up death forever!” ~Isaiah 25:8 (NLT)
New mercies & unending grace. No matter how far I go—if I confess and turn away from my sin, God will not hold it against me. He does not treat me as my sin deserves (Psalm 103:10); rather, He views me through eyes of grace. The grime from yesterday’s mistakes are washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, and it is never too late to seek forgiveness.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” ~Romans 8:1 (NLT)
Peace. It’s ironic that such a tragic death is the very thing that has paved the way towards Everlasting Peace. Yet because Christ has defeated the grave, I can now have peace in knowing that, since Christ is in me, nothing on earth can ultimately harm me.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33 (NLT)
Joy. There is always a reason to rejoice: My old life is gone; it has been nailed to the cross. Jesus lives inside of me! And no matter what I go through in life, the promise of eternity fills me with joy. This alone is enough to give me strength to face each day (see Nehemiah 8:10).
“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~1 Corinthians 15:57 (NLT)
Love. Jesus could have easily avoided the crucifixion. So why did He go through with it? I believe He was motivated by love: towards His Father, and also towards us. He knew that this painful death was the only way to save humanity. Someone loved me so much that they gave their life for me. And they continue to love me day after day, no matter how far I’ve gone. Because of this, I should never have an excuse to feel unworthy or unloved.
“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us…” ~1 John 3:16a (NLT)
“But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.” ~Romans 5:8 (NCV)
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16 (NLT)
This holiday offers the perfect reminder to open this Eternal Gift I have been given. To treat it as more than just a beautiful package decorated in ribbons and bows.
Does this mean that I will never celebrate Easter the commercial way again? Of course not! However, Easter egg hunts are no longer the reason why I look forward to this holiday ever year. (And not just because I am no longer a kid.)
Because this gift provides everything I will ever need in life; and with it, I am completely fulfilled. Nothing in life could ever satisfy the way that Jesus does.
No, not even a chocolate bunny.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” ~Galatians 2:20 (NLT)
© Copyright 2015 by Tessa Emily Hall
Tessa Emily Hall spends her days sipping on lattes, cuddling with her Teacup Shih-Tzu, immersed in a book, and singing along to country music. She sacrificed her high school years to write about a teen whose life was far more interesting than hers. This resulted in her debut YA Christian fiction novel, PURPLE MOON, a Selah Finalist published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a freelance writer, a teen columnist for Whole Magazine, and on the Teen Advisory Board for DevoZine. Tessa resides in South Carolina where she is currently studying to earn a degree in Creative Writing.
Follow Tessa online, and check out PURPLE MOON!
Easter, Jesus’ resurrection, What Easter Means to Me: The Greatest Gift, Tessa Emily Hall