Christmas is my favourite time of year, but Easter holds a special place in my heart.

Easter is sobering in a way Christmas isn’t. Because though Easter Sunday is a day of celebration and joy as Jesus conquers death, there is the knowledge of what He went through in order to save us.

As someone who grew up in a Christian household, the gospel is familiar to me. I know the story of Jesus well. But in recent years, at Easter, I reread a gospel (this year it’s Luke) and focus on the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

I don’t say this to seem holier-than-thou, but in all honesty – it makes me cry, what happened to Jesus on the day leading up to His death, and the crucifixion itself. For an innocent man, the only perfect man, to suffer as He did for people who turn away from Him.

God did this because He loves us. Which is… a lot.

God loves us and forgives us and and has given us the ultimate gift of salvation. Which is reason to celebrate and be joyful. And I do believe the Christian walk is full of glory and joy. Of celebration and thankfulness. We should praise God, enjoy this gift, look forward to our inheritance with Him.

But we shouldn’t forget the cost of such a gift. How an innocent man, the only perfect man, died the most awful death in order to give us life.

And I’m not saying we should feel sad all the time. We shouldn’t feel burdened by guilt or condemned and we shouldn’t feel like we need to ‘make it up to Jesus’ or earn His love and salvation.  That’s not how it works. Salvation is a gift. Free. We do not have to earn it.

It’s a balance. We should be aware of our sin, of our falling short. But we should also live in the freedom that we are saved, that we are loved, that we belong to Christ and cannot be separated from Him.

So yes, reading of Jesus’ death sobers me. But His resurrection, His love, His power, His forgiveness, His light, His mercy, brings thankfulness and joy in my heart. I live for Him, I worship Him, I love Him. There is nothing I can do to earn His love. I accept it.

Happy Easter, campers.

Sarah xx

(And now, a classic.)

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