Thursday, March 28, 2013

What I'm Learning This Easter

As Tim and I are going through the Easter story this week with our kids, I’ve learned so much from its players. It is not possible to read the incredible accounts of Passion Week without examining our own relationship with the Messiah. Am I Mary? Or Peter? Or the Crowd? Or Judas, who was so close to the Messiah yet never knew Him. As a family, each day, we are reading the account in chronological order. There’s just something about following Christ through the week that makes those final three days all the more amazing. Every single year, my heart learns more truth about my Savior in our journey through His last week.

During the early part of the week, probably Wednesday, Mary breaks a jar of perfume worth an entire year’s wages and dumps the contents on the Messiah’s head. Then she washes His dirty feet with her hair. The men are appalled. What is incredible is that Mary seemed to be the only one who “got it.” But I appreciate the inclusion of her humanity in the midst of her great faith. Read the account of Lazarus in John 11. At first, she stayed away. Her sister ran to Him, but she was too hurt. Thank you. Thank you that I am not the only one who cowers at pain and hides from Him. Then she boldly approaches her Savior, asking “where were you when I needed you most?” She doesn’t suddenly have some experience of great faith. She just wants answers. She wants to know where He was. She wants to know why this happened. Secretly, we have all felt this way at some point. She had the audacity to admit her feelings of abandonment. She had the faith for her brother to be healed; that’s why she was so hurt. If He would have just come, her brother would have never died. But He didn’t. And he did. She was heartbroken, both by her loss and by her confusion. He had an even greater glory in store, but in that moment she could not see. She could not see that this pain would produce great joy. She could not see that this tragedy would result in a faith that she would desperately need just a few days down the road. She didn’t want down the road, she didn’t want to learn something. She just wanted her brother to be healed. She wanted to be released from this pain. We have much to learn from this incredible woman. This experience is what allowed her to saturate her Savior with her most sacred possession. The only moment of joy and worship Jesus experienced during His final week of life is from her. She saw the death and resurrection of her brother and finally understood: this is exactly what He did in my heart and this is exactly what He is about to do in my place. She wanted it all to stop and He wanted her to stop; stop to grasp the truth of her state and the purpose for His death.  He was giving her understanding for the events that were about to take place. He was preparing her to see beyond the pain of His death, declaring to her, “Something greater is coming, just trust Me.” So often I find myself just as Mary, asking the question, “Where were You?” My limited perspective causes doubt. Ultimately, her trust in Him triumphed over her confusion, resulting in the most incredible act of worship we see in Christ’ time on earth. What a Savior, that even though He knew what He was doing, He stepped into her pain. “Jesus wept.” He didn’t condemningly say, Good grief just trust Me. He didn’t rebuke her. He didn’t scold her for a lack of faith. He understood. Knowing the heart of a woman, I think that’s what led to such extravagant worship. Mary’s progression of faith begs the question, do I allow myself to move from that place of hurt and confusion and doubt to a place of such sacrificial worship? Ultimately, she simply trusted. And her eyes were opened. And she gained an insight that no other follower grasped.

I pray that during this Holy Week, you stop, as well. Stop to see your Savior. Stop to experience His resurrection. Allow yourself to understand that He allows pain, but it is always for a purpose. And it’s ok for you to ask why. And He will understand.

I decided to do an Easter Story Basket this year for our journey through Passion Week, using an element each day to tell the story that the kids place in the basket. I will post the Easter Basket Bible study I wrote, along with each day’s activities. It will be too late for you to use for this year, but perhaps it will spur you to create an intentional week of focus for next year. Blessings to you this Easter.


  1. Love it! I cant wait to see the pics and do this with my kids next year! Great idea!

  2. Hi Heather,
    I'm a new follower, and blog about faith, food, and family. I've nominated you for the Liebster Award. You can follow this link to my post to accept and share the award. :)

    God Bless!