Season of Reflection

The Easter story.

The gift of His transforming love.
The reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

His sacrifice brought us life.

There is sadness in the story.
There is pain in the story. There is death.

But there is more.
The whole story includes the beauty of Easter.
The triumph.
The joy.

His amazing grace.

He is risen.

-Devotional excerpt by Jennifer from (in)courage.

One Victorious Empty Tomb

One victorious empty tomb,
One life,
One death,
One world changed forever.

God's power is very great for us who believe...
the same as the great strength God used to raise Christ from the dead
and put Him at His right side in the heavenly world.
God has put Christ over all.
Ephesians 1:19-21 NCV
-Roy Lessin


Jesus is light...
Shattering all darkness.
He is Truth...
Silencing all doubts.
He is life...
Defeating death.

May these precious truths bring new joy and faith to your heart
as you celebrate Jesus' resurrection!

-Roy Lessin

Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
John 14:6

The Cross and the Empty Tomb

The cross means that we can look back and be thankful;
the empty tomb means that we can look ahead and be hopeful.

The cross fills us with gratitude;
the empty tomb fills us with expectation.

The cross means that He died for us;
the empty tomb means that He lives for us.

The cross means that the old has passed away;
the empty tomb means that all things have become new.

The cross is the triumph of mercy;
the empty tomb is the triumph of righteousness.

The message of the cross is, “It is finished;”
the message of the empty tomb is, “I am alive forever more.”

The resurrection allows us to look up, to look forward, and to look ahead.
When we look up we see Jesus seated at the right hand of God,
when we look forward we see Him daily guiding our steps,
when we look ahead we see Him coming again for His bride.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ brings the assurance
that the enemy of death has been defeated,
our home in heaven is secure, and our inheritance will never fade away.
How good He is, and how blessed we are to serve a Lord who is alive,
who is above all, and who loves us with an everlasting love!

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Calms Our Fears
The angel said to the women,
“Do not be afraid,
for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He is not here;

Confirms His Word
He has risen, just as He said.

Comforts Our Hearts
Come and see the place where he lay.

Commissions Our Lives
Then go quickly and tell His disciples:
‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.

Clarifies Our Vision
There you will see Him.’ Now I have told you.”
Matt 28: 5-7

-Roy Lessin

Eternal Choices

God gives eternal choices, and these choices have eternal consequences.

Isn’t this the reminder of Calvary’s trio? 
Ever wonder why there were two crosses next to Christ? 
Why not six or ten?  Ever wonder why Jesus was in the center? 
Could it be the two crosses on the hill symbolize one of God’s greatest gifts? 
The gift of choice.
The two criminals were convicted by the same system. 
Condemned to death.  Equally close to the same Jesus. 
But one changed and one did not.

You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you? 
You look back and you say, “If only I could make up for those bad choices.” 
You can. 
When one thief on the cross prayed, Jesus loved him enough to save him. 
When the other mocked, Jesus loved him enough to let him. 
He allowed him the choice. And he does the same for you and me.

Then (the thief) said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus answered him,
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 
Luke 23:42-43

Max Lucado
from He Chose the Nails

God must either inflict punishment
or assume it,
and He chose the latter course.
Erwin Lutzer

Rays of Hope

Dear Lord, risen Lord, light of the world, to you be all praise and glory!
This day, so full of your presence, your joy, your peace, is indeed your day.

I just returned from a walk through the dark woods.
It was cool and windy, but everything spoke of you.
Everything: the clouds, the trees, the wet grass, the valley with its distant lights,
the sound of the wind.
They all spoke of your resurrection;
they all made me aware that everything is indeed good.
In you all is created good, and by you all creation is renewed and
brought to an even greater glory than it possessed at its beginning.

As I walked through the dark woods at the end of this day, full of intimate joy,
I heard you call Mary Magdalene by her name and heard how you called
from the shore of the lake to your friends to throw out their nets.
I also saw you entering the closed room where your disciples were gathered in fear.
I saw you appearing on the mountain and at the outskirts of the village.
How intimate these events really are.
They are like special favors to dear friends.
They were not done to impress or overwhelm anyone,
but simply to show that your love is stronger than death.

O Lord, I know now that it is in silence, in a quiet moment,
in a forgotten corner that you will meet me,
call me by name and speak to me a word of peace.
It is in my stillest hour that you become the risen Lord to me.

Dear Lord, I am so grateful for all you have given me.
Stay with me in the days to come.
Bless all who suffer in this world and bring peace to your people,
whom you loved so much that you gave your life for them. Amen.
Henri Nouwen
Excerpt from A Cry for Mercy: Prayers from the Genesee,
(Easter Sunday, April 15, 1979)


Easter allows us to affirm that although God seems very distant
and although we remain preoccupied with many little things,
our Lord walks with us on the road and keeps explaining the Scriptures to us. 
Thus there are many rays of hope casting their light on our way through life.
Henri Nouwen


If ...

(c) AnnVoskamp

Illustration by J. Kirk Richards

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place
found the grave empty and the stone rolled away.
In varying ways they realized the new wonder;
but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night.
What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation,
with a new heaven and a new earth;
and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden,
in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.
G. K. Chesterton