Sunday is Coming!

We don't know about you, but Easter Sunday just might be our favorite Sunday of the whole year!

When we were kids, Easter usually meant a brand new dress covered in flowers and a new pair of shoes and some lacy socks. We hoped and prayed in the weeks leading up to Easter that the weather would be kind and that springtime would actually show up so that we could wear our new threads and actually enjoy the springtime treats contained in our Easter baskets. How many times did the Midwest disappoint and send snow on Easter forcing us to cover up our dresses with leftover winter sweaters and causing arguments with our moms over whether or not we could actually wear our shiny white patented leather shoes? If you aren't from the Midwest than perhaps none of that means anything to you. My (Rachel) mom was a very firm rule follower and did not believe in white shoes until Easter Sunday, so you better believe I was ready for them! And who wanted to get an Easter basket full of bubbles and sidewalk chalk that had to sit waiting to be used for the next month until the sun finally decided to show up? And poor grandma with her lovely hanging flower baskets that she would have to keep in doors until the frost finally went away for good!

Easter was just fun. It was a celebration in every way. We have carried many of these traditions into our adulthood--still venturing out to Target or Old Navy the week before Easter Sunday to grab a new floral printed pantsuit and a pair of cut springtime shoes. Moms still give us "Easter baskets" and we still indulge in the occasional Reese Egg (because no doubt they are the best that Reese's has to offer.)

But it's so much more than that, isn't it! It's more than new sundresses and shiny new shoes and baskets filled with sweets and springtime treats. It's more than ham and colorful hardboiled eggs and baby marshmallow chickens. It's more than blossoms on the trees and hunting for plastic eggs filled with goodies.

Easter is a reminder that we've won--the ultimate prize. It's a reminder that life is ours for the taking and the keeping. It's our ultimate hope! It's the thing that we cling to above all else and the foundation of the faith that we fight for all year long. Easter is an empty cross and an empty grave and our Savior alive and well and walking with us through life and into eternity.

Today we thought it might be fun to share with you some of our favorite passages to read through leading up to Easter. These are the passages that grip our hearts with the truth of the Gospel and prepare them for our favorite Sunday of the year!

Isaiah 53
It never ceases to amaze me how spot on this prophet was. THOUSANDS of years before Jesus showed up on the scene, Isaiah was walking the very streets of Jerusalem that Jesus would walk prophesying in vivid detail what would happen to Him and what it would mean for the world. I often read this passage to people without letting them know where it's from and then ask them to tell me where they think it might be found in Scripture. They almost always say a Gospel--because that's exactly what Isaiah was writing--THE GOSPEL. This passage is such a beautiful reminder that Jesus was not an afterthought or a quick fix to a problem that God couldn't seem to solve. Jesus was always the plan. Salvation from ourselves was always God's heart.

Psalm 22
This is another passage of Scripture that beautifully depicts what Jesus will do for us long before Jesus walked the earth. What's extra beautiful about this passage is that it's from David's personal prayer journal. This passage is King David crying out to God in his own despair and pain. He had no idea that it was painting a picture of Jesus on the cross and how His sacrifice would ultimately fix the problem of our sin and despair and pain. If you ever doubt the truth of Scripture, take a second look at these threads running throughout it and the detail that couldn't possibly been contrived or replicated with this much time and space in between. 

Isaiah 1:18
Even though God hated the sin of His chosen people, He made it very clear He was not going to give up on them. Still He invited them to the table and to conversation with Him. Still He was planning to make it right with them and to find a way out of their mess. This is still true for us because this is His heart.

Hebrews 4:14-16
Thanks to Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross, there is no more space between us and God. The curtain is torn in two and we have full access to the throne of God. We can approach at any time and in any state and know that He will look at us and converse with us. 

Romans 1-3
If ever I need a good, solid reminder of where I've come from and all that Jesus has done for me, I go right back to Romans. These chapters lay it out so plain and simply. I was a sinner destined to die but God loved me enough to find a different way--Jesus. 

We hope you'll enjoy a good solid dose of Jesus and all His goodness in these final days leading up to Easter Sunday--the day that defines us and gives us hope and solid ground to stand on!

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