It’s hard to believe! Easter weekend is just around the corner – its significance, for many of us, buried under busy schedules and long lists of obligation. We don’t get much help from the world of merchandizing either. I don’t recall a cute bunny in any of the biblical accounts – maybe a rooster’s crowing or a young donkey, but these are hardly cuddly animals.
When you read the account of Jesus’s life during those days leading up to the cross, you get a sense of bewilderment on the part of His disciples. They didn’t ‘get it’ until after the crucifixion. Sadly, we often don’t ‘get it’ either. We celebrate the most important date in all of mankind’s history – those three days of excruciating, painful sacrifice and extraordinary reversal of sin’s toll on human life, the Savior’s resurrection, and we often do it with little emotional investment.
So, how do we focus our family’s attention on the true meaning of Easter weekend? How do we get beyond new clothes and chocolate eggs? One way might be to enter into the story for ourselves, place ourselves right into the events leading up to the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb, the Lamb of God Who takes away our sins.
Decades ago, a creative group produced a film recording the life of Jesus based on the Gospel of Luke which has become one of the most successful film ventures of all time, The JESUS Film. Building on its success, they went on to create The Story of Jesus for Children, a 60 minute production that weaves scenes from JESUS with a fictional set of characters, children and their parents, who lived during the time Jesus walked this earth’s dusty roads.
There is still time to launch yourselves and your kids into a virtual walk with Jesus during those eventful days leading up to the cross. The Story of Jesus for Children is readily available (www.jesusforchildren.org). You can use the last thirty minutes covering the latter part of Jesus’ ministry and the accounts of the cross and resurrection as a jumping off point. Begin each family session watching one scene, finding it in the book of Luke and then combining it with four guideposts I gave you earlier for ‘jumping into’ Scripture, as it were, and encountering the Savior in a life-changing manner.
In subsequent blog entries, I’ll attempt to provide something like a road map to launch the journey. I guarantee that if you take a modest amount of time for these spiritual exercises, Jesus Himself will meet with you. You can have your own, personal Emmaus Road encounters – taking walks with our Savior that will bless your lives.
Engage ~ Explore ~ Experience ~ Embrace