Muddled With The Message
As my eyes scanned over the chocolate eggs and bunny rabbits in the supermarket this week, the only crosses I saw were the ones painted on a stack of hot cross buns. And as my inner critic shook her head at this lack of understanding about the Easter message, I thought the whole point of Easter was the cross, and it seemed that people were missing it. However, in my conscious effort of trying to avoid pointing my religious finger, perhaps I too was missing the message of the cross this Easter? Maybe my views and standards on what was acceptable for Easter and what was not had got muddled with the message that Jesus died for?
If we’re not careful, as believers we can use this Easter week as an attempt to impress others with all our religious behaviour just as the Pharisees did. Grace was never on the Pharisee’s radar, and if their conscience did get stirred about grace it always got pencilled in at the bottom of their very long list of rules and regulations.
But if we’re honest, we can all fall into the pit of unknowingly sabotaging the gift of grace that the Easter message brings by muddling the chocolate bunnies and egg hunts into a message that becomes the sticking point to point others to Jesus instead of sticking our views and striving to a grace-filled cross.
The truth of the matter is that we all struggle with the message of Easter because we can’t get our heads around the fact that Jesus died for us and embraced us with His grace. He chose to take on our sins long before we messed up, failed, and allowed Him to restore us. So, we become uncomfortable and make Easter awkward by getting all muddled up with the message. As Judah Smith says, “That’s how we often react when grace comes at us. It’s awkward. God offers us something too good to be true – unearned, unmerited, total forgiveness – and we stand there, stiff, and uncomfortable, waiting for the embrace to stop so we can get back to the business of earning our way to heaven. We need to embrace grace. We need to learn how to hug back.”
How can we un-muddle the muddled-up message of Easter? By showing the same grace as Jesus did to the prodigal son, the woman at the well, and the thief on the cross who hung dying next to Him.
GRACE. The unearned, unmerited, total forgiveness hug Jesus gives us all when we don’t deserve it.
Maybe the muddled-up message in the chocolate of the eggs and bunnies needs a little salt and light from believers to help bring the real message of Easter out of the shadows of ignorance and add some flavour?
In the times we struggle to show a little grace to others, we need to get back to the Easter message. To read and re-read the moments where Jesus hung in agony on the cross and spoke the grace-filled words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing”. A grace that un-muddles the muddle-up message of Easter and humbles us to repentance. God’s saving, amazing grace that still chooses to embrace us even in our most awkward of moments as we learn to embrace grace and hug Jesus back this Easter.
Like me, have you muddled up the message of Easter?
I pray today, that we will allow Your grace, Jesus, to embrace us so we can show the same grace to others. Turn our hearts back to You, Jesus. Mould us and shape us so we can become the salt and light that this world needs. Amen.