Happy Easter Sunday! It’s a beautiful day! What’s even better? The meaning behind Easter. This post isn’t book related but it’s something that’s more important to me than books — and that’s my God, Jesus, Savior, and my faith. Growing up, Easter was all fun and games. We had barbecue parties and egg hunts filled with candy. I was raised Catholic but my parents didn’t practice it and didn’t really teach us about it. We never knew what Catholicism really involved, the teachings, the communion. None of that. We didn’t even know what Easter really was.
This all change when I was around 8 years old. My father was diagnosed with lymphoma. Cancer of the lymph nodes. Cancer. This sort of thing happens in books, movies, other families. Not mine. Everything turned upside down for my family. Instead of spending days at a park, riding our bicycles, my sister and I took trips to the hospital. Chemotherapy. It changes you. You lose weight. You lose your hair. Sooner or later, my father became a shell of the man he was once before. As a child, you don’t understand the gravity of the situation. What are all those medicines? Why is he always throwing up? Why is he so skinny? How come he can’t go to work anymore? What do you mean his body is no longer responding to treatment?
One day my sister and I were playing in my room, when my mom comes in to tell us to stay there and not come out until she said so. She shut the door so quickly, we didn’t have time to ask her why. Next thing we knew, my aunt and uncle, both nurses, were at our house. We didn’t know what happened at that time. We didn’t know for years. No one told us anything until we were older. On that day, my dad went to say ‘I love you’ to my mom. Not just the regular ‘I love you’ but the goodbye kind. My dad died that day. On our living room floor. Dead. You could no longer could see the rise and fall of his chest. No pulse. Just gone. It was the longest 5-7 minutes of my mom’s life.
Because 5-7 minutes later, in the silent room, there was an intake of breath. My father opened his eyes and got up. There was crying everywhere. He was alive and breathing. When he finally spoke, he asked for a glass of water that he later drank. That in itself was a miracle. His cancer was located near his neck, constricting his throat. Drinking water became synonymous to swallowing nails. But not anymore, he drank and drank. He was taken to the hospital and was checked on. They ran tests. They took x-rays and scans. But they couldn’t find anything. Gone. There was no evidence of cancer in his body. I’m 23 now. My dad? He’s been in remission ever since. He’s 57 now and living life.
Every Easter, I think of this. I think of God’s miracles that we witnessed that day and all the miracles afterwards. Like the conception and birth of my baby brother after they told my dad it was no longer possible due to the effects of radiation. I think of what Easter really means. I think of love and sacrifice.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26
On Good Friday, Jesus was crucified. Jesus, who was perfect in every way, never sinned. But He died a sinner’s death. He died for our sins, past, present, and future, so that we could be forgiven. He gave His life so that we could come to know God through Him. Therein lies the greatest love story of all time. You are loved more than you will ever know, by someone who died to know you. On the third day, Easter Sunday, He resurrected. He is risen. Death couldn’t hold Him down.
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
If God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it. I firmly believe this. My family has gone through a lot of hardships but in every turn, God provided a way out for us. I see evidence God’s love everyday. With every breath that I take. Every sunset I watch. Every morning that I wake. I see it my family. In the home that He provided for me, the clothes on my back, the food that I eat. I don’t regard it so much as a religion but a relationship with God and Jesus. It’s not an easy road, believe me, I’ve had my ups and downs. Many times I wanted to just drop everything and give up. But then I think of what Jesus did for me, for us. I think about my dad. I think about my family and my life. I think on these things and I know, my God’s not dead. He’s surely alive.
Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
The following videos are two of my favorite songs for Easter:
“Man of Sorrows” by Hillsong United, Glorious Ruins
“This is Amazing Grace” by Phil Whickam, The Ascension
If you have any questions or need to talk about anything, I’m just a click away! I hope that you have an amazing Easter and God bless!