On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love. But I think Easter does a better job of it. Easter celebrates the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ—the ultimate act of love and redemption in all the course of human history. And I’m thinking today about the love of Jesus, and how we’re supposed to love like that, and I’m really understanding that love, God’s type of love, is hard. Loving people isn’t easy. It’s not just flowers and roses and chocolates and sweet sentiments (though I love those things). Love is giving something up for someone else. In Jesus’ case, it was his very life.
I’ve been watching for acts of love this week, such as when my son’s preschool friend happily agreed to trade a Star Wars egg for a regular yellow egg. When my son said thank you, the little boy smiled with glee and said, “Sure!” at the opportunity to make his friend happy. Love.
My little girl stood up to her own friends for a fellow little sister while she was playing this week. Love.
My oldest gave up almost all of her eggs at the egg hunt we hosted because some of our guests didn’t find quite the right number of eggs themselves. She sacrificed candy, y’all. Love.
My husband joyfully postponed date night when we saw me getting frazzled at the growing schedule of the week, and substituted cozy movie-night-in complete with pjs and popcorn. Love.
My son agreed to stay off the trampoline when we were watching smaller kids this week, just so they would be a little safer. 😉 Love.
I think about how much my family loves Star Wars, candy, movies in the theater, trampolines…these little sacrifices amounted to a lot of love.
On the night he was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” He also told them that the cup represented his spilled blood, a new covenant for us. Our belonging to God’s family is sealed in the righteousness of Christ. But look back at the broken body part—“Do this in remembrance of me.”
I’ve always taken this to mean I should take communion. I should partake with a heart that has confessed, with a mind focused on the sacrifice that Jesus lovingly made to redeem me from my sin. And I still think this. But I think there’s greater depth as well. He says, “I’m giving my body for you. Go do that too, in remembrance of me.” He’s telling them that he wants them to give themselves away in honor of his own sacrifice. Jesus is continuing to model the way he wants us to love the world—by serving and giving. By being selfless.
My church posted this quote by Frances Chan: “And like our Savior, who poured out His life and blood so we have reason to rejoice, we were made to lay down our lives and give until it hurts. We are most alive when we are loving and actively giving of ourselves because we were made to do these things.”
We were made to love and actively give of ourselves. This is when our lives stop feeling hollow and empty, incapable of feeling satisfied. This is how we enter into new life. We get to follow Jesus, not just into the tomb, but also into a new life we can only attain when we lay everything we have at his feet.
My prayer today is that we would all have the courage to love as Christ loved, to lay down our lives for him, to serve, to sacrifice, to really and fully and completely live. And that we would do this in remembrance of Him.
Happy Easter, everyone.