Jeanne Takenaka

As we prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday, have we really considered what had to come before the resurrection?

My parents had a way of creating fun traditions for our family. Easter was no exception. My memories of this springtime holiday revolve around being together as a family, listening to songs about Jesus’ resurrection, and the fun that came from believing in the Easter Bunny and hunting for those colored eggs. This was all good, and I love the memories and impressions from those years.

An image of Jesus hanging on the cross...a reminder that His crucifixion had to happen before His resurrection.

As I grew older, I discovered Easter was about more than cute bunnies and colorful eggs hiding sweet treats. In the early part of this Holy Week, I’m thinking about the darker side of the celebration. 

As a girl I celebrated the “after” without considering the impact of what came “before.” 

Before the resurrection came Jesus’ crucifixion.

Love: What Had to Come Before the Resurrection—As a girl, I celebrated the “after” without considering the impact of what came “before.” Before the resurrection came the crucifixion. #tellhisstory #easter #resurrection Click To Tweet
An image of a cross made from nails, circled by a crown of thorns, leaning on a stone . . . a reminder that before the resurrection the crucifixion had to happen

My best friend, Jesus, hung on the cross in my place. The perfect sacrificed for the imperfect, the unstained for the sinner. 

Love: What Had to Come Before the Resurrection—The perfect sacrificed for the imperfect, the unstained for the sinner #tellhisstory #easter #resurrection Click To Tweet

Jesus’ love for each of us kept Him on the cross. He could have come down from it, or not allowed Himself to be nailed to it in the first place—He’s God. But, Jesus chose to stay so we would have the opportunity to learn of Him and His amazing, covering love.

An image of a long, marble-columned passageway in a cathedral.

Why Jesus Endured What Came Before the Resurrection

Most years, my husband and I watchThe Passion, which depicts what had to come before the resurrection. 

Watching what happened before the resurrection—what Jesus endured—always makes me cry.

Why?

Why would He take on whippings, thorns pressed into His head, nails pounded through His wrists and feet, the hours of slow asphyxiation?

Love.

Meme with the words: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." ~John 3:16 (NIV) on a backdrop of a picture of Jesus hanging on a wooden cross

Why would someone love me—or any of us—that much? I don’t know. What I do know is that God’s love for every person is that powerful, that passionate. He desires relationship, and the only way that could happen was for sin to be dealt with for all time. Jesus’ death paid the price I could never, ever pay. Why?

Love.

Thankfully, the story doesn’t end at the cross.

Our Savior, our Friend, overcame death to offer us life and relationship and love. He stayed in the tomb for three days. And then, in fulfillment of prophecy, God raised His Son from death into life. Because the grave couldn’t contain Him. Death could not overpower Him.

An image of a large silver cross etched into a black doorway (St Paul's Cathedral, Rome) . . . a reminder that before the resurrection came the crucifixion, but Jesus' resurrection is an open door into relationship with God.

Just as He will do for us one day. After the crucifixion came the resurrection. And that, my friends, is definitely worth celebrating.

What about you? What is the most impacting aspect of Easter to you? Do you have special Resurrection Day traditions?

***If you have a few moments, listen to the song, “Grace Flows Down,” and share your thoughts with me.

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