Celebrating Easter can be a special time for Christians, but often it is hard to keep our focus on Jesus, the One whose resurrection we celebrate. Easter dinners and egg hunts, dressing up for church and spending time with family. All the good things. But sometimes they get in the way of the best.
So as we approach this Easter, let’s ponder.
Ponder Jesus’ Life, Death, and Resurrection
According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, ponder means
To weigh in the mind; to consider and compare the circumstances or consequences of an event, or the importance of the reasons for or against a decision.
Let us weigh in the mind—to consider the circumstances and consequences of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. And to think about the reasons we have decided to follow Him. To ask, “How does this decision affect my life?”
So this Easter, I want to encourage you to meditate on Hebrews 12:1-3. It says,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Looking to Jesus
He is the founder and perfecter of our faith.
The Founder—If it wasn’t for Jesus, the Christian faith does not exist. I know that sounds obvious, but do we stop to think about it? He says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6b) We live in a world where many will try to convince us and our children that while Jesus may be a way, He is not the way. We have to consider what He says about Himself because those around us will constantly try to persuade us differently.
The Perfecter— “one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith.” —blueletterbible.org Yes, He is the highest example of faith. He trusted His Father completely. Do we choose to follow His example?
He endured the cross for the joy set before Him.
He Endured—He didn’t try to flee, but remained in the will of His Father. As God He absolutely could have simply disappeared or fought and won an earthly battle, but He chose to suffer the incredible physical pain of the cross.
And even more amazing, the pain of being separated from His Father for a time.
But Jesus endured for the joy set before Him. That joy of being seated again at the right hand of the throne of God, of completing His mission. There was a purpose in what he was enduring. And amazingly enough, His suffering was to save us.
He despised the shame.
The Shame—the disgrace, the dishonor. He counted that as nothing although He was God, although He deserved honor above all.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)
But why? Why would He, the perfect Son of God do this for us? Because He loves you.
Jesus Loves You Deeply
Just think about the love He displayed for you, for me, for the whole world.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
He endured the cross, despised the shame, and endured sinners hostility against Himself. Why would He do this? Why would He do this while we were still sinners?
Because of His great love for us. It is that simple, but oh, so profound.
My prayer for you is the same as Paul’s for the Ephesians,
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)
A Singular Purpose
Jesus knew his mission and He fulfilled it. He had a singular purpose.
In Isaiah 50:7 we see this in the prophecy,
But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
And then we see the fulfillment of that prophecy in Luke 9:51.
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
Do you know what your purpose is? What God has called you to? There are a few things you can know for sure, and one of them is that He has called you to be the mother of your children. He has called you to educate them—their hearts, minds, and souls. No one else can do that job, so it is a part of your calling.
But may I suggest, Sweet Mama, that your primary mission isn’t to raise and homeschool your children. Yes, God called you to do that, but your purpose is so much bigger. God created you in His image—designed you to reflect his very character to a world that needs Him.
You are created for His glory.
Why do we ponder these things?
Hebrews 12:3 continues, “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
When we consider something, we ” fix the mind on, with a view to a careful examination; to think on with care; to ponder; to study; to meditate on.” (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
Meditate on Jesus this Easter. Examine who He is. And think about what He has done.
And let it encourage you on your own journey to not grow weary or fainthearted. Sweet Mama, know that He loves you. Let the message of Easter fill you with HOPE. The road you have chosen isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.
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