Today ended up being one of my better days. I kept down my first meal last night and went through today without getting sick at all…it actually felt somewhat odd!
Tonight Josh and I made Resurrection Rolls, a new Boring family Easter tradition. I read a Facebook status this afternoon that mentioned these, googled it, ran to the store and well, after frying the first batch, the second came out GREAT! Josh absolutely LOVED it!!!
If you are like me and have never heard of Resurrection Rolls, here is the idea – You'll need 1 can of Crescent Rolls (name brand works best from what I read), a bowl of blended sugar and cinnamon (I just blended until it tasted right), a bowl of melted butter and some large marshmallows. You grab your kids (or your church kids!) and hand them each a crescent triangle. Hand them a marshmallow and say, “This is Jesus. He was sinless -white, and nailed to the cross. But before He went to the cross, He was anointed at Bethany” – you dip the marshmallow into the melted butter. “Then, when His body was taken down from the cross, they poured burial spices on His body” – put the marshmallow in the sugar and cinnamon mixture- “And wrapped Him in cloth and layed His body in a tomb” – place the marshmallow in the center of the crescent triangle and wrap the crescent roll around the marshmallow, covering all openings. Bake as directed on the crescent roll container (I followed the online recipe, but follow the directions on the container…remember, my first batch was FRIED!). After they are golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool. Once they are cool, cut a roll open…or better yet, do what we did…Josh just grabbed a roll and yelled, “Mom, where is my yummy Jesus?” The point here is that Jesus isn't in the tomb, because He rose from the dead! (The marshmallow exploded and left a very yummy remains inside of the roll). Josh thought it was SO cool that he could “eat” the empty tomb because he said it wouldn't be good to “eat Jesus…even if He did look yummy.”
I've been chewing on the thought of the empty grave a lot lately. It's not a picture typically associated with Easter. We see the cross, Easter eggs and the bunny…but rarely a grave. It really struck me between the eyes on Wednesday night when I was doing the Cross Walk with our families here at PBCC. We did the Last Supper, we did the mocking, we did the cross…and right before we were going to move to the next station one of the kids said, “You mean there's more?!” He was EXCITED…but you could tell that the thought process had stopped…he knew the story, but he temporarily forgot about the ultimate ending!
I like the Passion of The Christ…great movie, let down of an ending (in my personal opinion). The fact that the entire resurrection scene can be shown right before a communion meditation says that the entire movie is focused on one thing…the cross. Yes, we need to remember the cross. We need to remember the pain and suffering He endured for our sins. We need to remember and take hold of the salvation we were gracefully gifted at that moment…BUT DON'T LEAVE JESUS ON THE CROSS!
I think so many times we have Christians living their life as if Jesus never left the cross. There is hope on Sunday, but Monday through Saturday it's boring, routine, life is over as we know it mentality. The only thing that separates these people from the world is their bumper sticker. They blend in way too easily. The would has lost a sense of hope…Christians see an empty tomb.
I guess this Easter really has hit an all-new deeper meaning with me, now battling two cancerous brain tumors, CIDP, a heart condition caused by the CIDP…all of this can lead to hopelessness. In fact, brain tumor patients respond mentally in two ways to their diagnosis – they give-up or they fight. According to my neurologist there is no real in-between and the choice is literally made within minutes of finding out the diagnosis. When I look back, I am not sure if I can truly define my reaction. I was in shock, but I've always been a fighter…don't you dare tell me I can't do something (comes from being the only girl in a house with two very competitive boys). Maybe I had the fighter response…but reconciling that the cross is empty as well as the grave…now that gives me a REASON to fight even harder.
The empty grave doesn't just symbolize a better life off of this earth, but it represents a chance to live a batter life HERE. There is a transformation that occurs in those that really believe that they have an everlasting relationship with Christ. It shines through every aspect of their life, regardless of what they are facing. They see life as an opportunity, not as a challenge. They view everyday as a new day, not one day closer to the end. Christ came to give us life…to the full…and I think I finally understand truly what that means. In order to really live, you need to get past the cross, reflect on the empty grave and continue a daily relationship with our Living and Active God. He's not dead, He's surely alive…He's living inside of me, roaring like a lion. Those of us who not only believe, but follow by faith stick out easily….but so did the empty, open tomb.
Easter is more than just a day…hoping you live it out. Hoping you can move past the cross and see new life waiting for you in the open tomb this Easter…after all, the best part of “Yummy Jesus” only occurs when the tomb is empty.