A Reminder Just In Time For Easter
Do you ever journey through Scripture and feel like you should just skip some stories because you’ve read them and heard them so many times before?
If the answer is “yes,” you’re not alone. I’ll be honest…I’ve felt like this a lot in the past.
Some years, I crack open the Christmas story to read during the holiday season, and I find myself fighting the urge to close it because I’m so familiar with it. I used to give into these feelings and skip parts of the Bible I didn’t feel like re-reading. However, God convicted me recently, and He used Hebrews 4:12 to do so…
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
This verse snapped me back to reality that the Bible is alive…we can never reach the end of it’s wisdom because God can always bring fresh revelations from stories we’ve read time and time again.
I experienced this firsthand last Easter as I took a different avenue of reading the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I signed up for Walk with Jesus®, which sends texts about Jesus’ final days on Earth as if we were living them alongside Him today.
One of the texts came on the Thursday before Good Friday, just as I was getting ready for bed. It read “Jesus and the disciples go to a garden. Jesus is overwhelmed with sorrow.”
Truthfully, it had been a long day and I didn’t feel like reading the Scripture or listening to the podcast that accompanied it, but thank God I did. As I listened to Matthew 26:36-46, a story I had read countless times, new revelation captured my attention. In this section of Scripture, Jesus takes His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray because He knew His time of crucifixion was getting closer.
Verse 37 describes Jesus as “anguished and distressed.” Jesus then detailed His raw emotions to His disciples when he said “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” The next verse, when Jesus cries out to God about His situation, is what struck me like never before:
“39 He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground, praying, ‘My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.'”
Verse 39 had never impacted me the way it did in that moment. It shows Jesus in such a human way, a way I can deeply relate to. He’s suffering and crushed by the assignment only He can fulfill. Can you imagine that burden? But knowing what happens next is what made verse 39 so powerful…although Jesus was crushed, anguished, distressed…He chose God’s will over His own and went ahead to be sacrificed on our behalf anyways.
Why? Because He loves us.
Everything you’re reading right now was hitting me for the first time when I received that Walk with Jesus text. I was in awe, and I still am.
The point of all this? As Easter approaches, I wanted to pass along the reminder that God is able to speak to us in ways we never could imagine or expect, even if we think we’ve squeezed every last once of wisdom out of certain verses and stories from the Bible.
This Easter season, let’s give God our full attention and allow Him to speak in fresh ways through the resurrection story. If you’re interested in a new and engaging way to experience Easter and the Scriptures that go along with it, do what I did and try Walk with Jesus® by texting JESUS to 58228*. Listen to the podcast trailer below to get a preview of what’s to come!
Walk With Jesus® Daily Easter Text Experience is sponsored by CSB Experiencing God Bible and CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible from Holman Bibles