We’ve talked about reconnecting in many different relationships in our lives over the course of the year, but this week I want to focus on reconnecting spiritually. Many of the major religions intentionally set aside time each year to give attention to this very thing. Right now, many of our neighbors are observing a time of fasting to focus on self-discipline, compassion, and prayer. Similarly, many Christians set aside this time of the year for Lent, also a time of self-sacrifice and spiritual reflection.
The timing of the Christian practice is very strategic, as this week marks the Holy Week in the Christian calendar. During this week, we remember that Jesus entered Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish Passover and that he was arrested, tried, executed, and buried as the final sacrifice for sins. The events of this week would be considered tragic if not for the celebration on Easter Sunday. On that day, we celebrate that Jesus claimed eternal victory over sin and death by rising from the dead.
I’ve been reading through the book of Exodus lately, which lists intricate details for building the Tabernacle and worshiping God through the offering of animal sacrifices. I am so thankful to live in a time after the first Easter when Christ has offered the final necessary sacrifice for sin. The tabernacle and temple, with the ever-burning lamps, holy of holies, and all of the other instruments, are no longer necessary. Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” This Easter, I am so thankful that I can directly approach the throne of God and that he is available to give me mercy and grace always.
Another church tradition I grew up with was celebrated on Easter Sunday each year. The traditional greeting to fellow believers is “He is risen,” and the response is “He is risen indeed.” Through this exchange of greetings, we profess our belief in the resurrection of Christ and remind one another of the significance and reality of this event.
As we take a holiday from school this Friday in honor of Good Friday and Easter, I encourage you to take some of that additional time for worship and spiritual connection. As the verse in Hebrews said, we can have confidence in approaching God directly and be assured of finding mercy and grace.
He is Risen!
Written by Shawna Wood
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