What Easter Means to Me

by Carole Brown

I’m sitting at my desk this early morning, typing and occasionally looking out the window. I see the beginnings of spring, with the earlymisty, sunrise morn free flowers, trees pregnant with a promised renewal of life, the sun rays strongly dissipating the heavy mists in the valleys. Reminders that Easter–Resurrection Day–is approaching. And I realize anew what an awesome celebration it truly is. 

  • First and foremost, our God is a true God that loves, faithful to do as He says, just, all knowing, and all powerful. How confident that encourages me to be!

  • Secondly, that such a God cared enough he sent his ONLY beloved son into the world for his creation: mankind. What a sacrifice! What a love! Unlike other so-called gods who demand and never give, our supreme God gave his best and only for us. How humble I feel to know he would, and did, do such a thing!

  • Thirdly, our God’s son is a LIVE Son. He’s not dead. Although, mankind killed him in a horribly, brutal crucifixion, he died to conquer death and the grave, that we might live through Him.  How wonderfully alive I feel because of that life-changing event. Forever more–through this life, even into death, I can have the assurance that I live now, and will live eventually with my God, my Savior and King! 

Thank you, God, for what you did for us, for your love and eternal life you’ve given! 

Happy Easter, my friends!

10 Things that Impact Me about Easter

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

There are a lot more than 10 things that impact me about the Easter story, but here are ten of them.

10. I’m amazed at how quickly the people turned against their Messiah. In Luke 19:36-38, they were shouting Hosannas and waving palms. In Luke 23:18-25, they were shouting crucify Him. But it also amazes me how I so quickly turn away at times.

9. I’m amazed that the disciples are arguing about who is the greatest, and the greatest one of all, the Son of God, washes their feet. I’m also amazed at how much I try to promote myself when One greater than me lives inside of me. John 13:1-20

8. I’m amazed that Jesus knew Judas would betray him, yet He still washed his feet and shared a meal with him. Jesus also died on the cross for me knowing how many times I would betray Him. John 21:21-30

7. I’m amazed that Jesus weeps over Jerusalem when He knows they will murder Him and reject Him as their Messiah. How many times do we weep over the lost? Luke 19:41-44

6. I’m amazed at how one moment Peter is willing to die for Jesus, but the next, he’s denying Him. The saddest part of this story is Luke 22: 61 “The Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Imagine being Peter and knowing the Lord saw you deny Him, that He was standing right there. He sees when we deny Him too. He’s standing right there. Luke 22:54-62

5. I’m amazed that the soldiers could bring themselves to arrest Jesus after He declared Himself I AM, and they fell down under His power. Then after Peter cuts off Malchus’ ear, Jesus heals it. How did they bring themselves to do it? John 18:1-11

4. I’m amazed that Jesus carried His own cross after being beaten to a pulp and that He was willing to do that for me. How can I refuse to carry my cross after knowing that? John 19:1-17

3. I’m amazed by what Jesus suffered to reconcile me to God. John 19:16-24. My only reasonable response to that is to surrender everything to Him. Romans 12: 1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

2. I’m amazed at how gently Jesus dealt with Peter’s denial. First He tell Mary at the tomb to go tell the disciples and Peter He’s alive. I believe He singles Peter out because Peter no longer feels like he’s worthy to be called Jesus’ disciple. Then Jesus cooks fish with Peter, deals with His sin with probing questions, and reinstates him. I’m also amazed at how gently and thoroughly Jesus deals with my sin. Mark 16:7, John 21:15-22

1. I’m amazed at Jesus’ Resurrection power. He took death captive when He rose from the grave and proved He is I AM. Matthew 28

I am amazed by one more thing. I’m amazed at how much He loves me.

Top 10 Movies for Easter

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Sunday is Palm Sunday and starts Holy Week. It’s a good time to pull out your Easter movies.

10. The Robe

1953

Director: Henry Koster

Starring Richard Burton and Jean Simmons

This movie takes some liberties with the story, like the Romans crucifying Jesus without the Jews having anything to do with it and the disciples rescuing another Christian and having a good old fashion sword fight. Sometimes the discrepancies are laughable. That being said, it’s a great movie to watch and doesn’t change the essence of the Gospel. It’s also a touching love story. The line I remember most was when Richard Burton with his wide eyes glaring said. “Were you there?” It gave me the creeps.

9. Ben Hur

1959

Director: William Wyler Starring Charlton Heston

Who can forget Charlton Heston in the chariot race?

8. The Visual Bible: The Gospel of John

2003 Director Phillip Saville

Starring Christopher Plummer and Henry Ian Cusick

It follows the words in the Bible. Good, but not as good as Matthew.

7. The Greatest Story Ever Told

1965

Director: George Stevens Starring Max Von Sydow

Great movie about Christ’s life if you can get past the music every time Jesus appears.

6. Jesus of Nazareth

1977 Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Starring Robert Powell

This miniseries on the life of Jesus impacted me greatly even though Jesus looked a bit too Heavenly and his eyes were the wrong color.

5. The Visual Bible: The Gospel of Matthew

1993

Director: Regardt Von Den Bergh

Starring Richard Kiley, Bruce Marchiano, and Gerrit Schoonhoven

This is my all time favorite portrayal of the person of Jesus.

4. Risen

2016

Director: Kevin Reynolds

Starring Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth

This is a unique telling of the story of the resurrection of Christ through the eyes of a Roman soldier who is an unbeliever and sent to find Christ’s body.

3. Son of God

2014 Director: Christopher Spencer

Starring Dioga Morgada, Amber Rose Ravah, Sebastian Knapp

Read my review of this movie at this link.

2. Ben Hur

2016

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Starring Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro

This is an awesome movie. I was surprised that it was so much better than the original even without Charlton Heston My favorite kind of Easter story is one where Jesus is not the main character, but the main character is forever changed because of His encounter with Jesus. This checks all those boxes.

1. The Passion of the Christ

2004

Director: Mel Gibson

Starring James Caviezel

When I watch this movie, I feel like I’m watching the real event. It chokes me up every time. From the first moment of the film, I felt the anointing.