April 1st Devotion

The Gifts of Easter
Ryan Duncan

“While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” – Luke 24:51-52

My Grandfather has always been a generous man. Every Easter when I was young, he would go out to the local candy store and return with bags upon bags of candy for me and my cousins. Of course, we couldn’t just eat the candy then and there. To make things more enjoyable, the children would all go into the basement to play while he and my Grandmother hid the candy in nooks and corners of the house for us to find throughout the day. The big prize in the game was always an enormous, solid chocolate bunny hidden somewhere in the house, and my grandfather loved to walk about giving vague hints as to where it might be.

To be honest though, what I loved most about my early Easters was actually what came afterward. You see, my Grandfather always bought so much candy that we kids couldn’t find it all. So when our family came to visit a few weeks later, you might find a caramel egg while rummaging through the bookshelf or stumble on a bar of chocolate while playing in the study. These unexpected blessings always reminded me how much my Grandfather loved his grandchildren, and how he always spoke of God loving us. Looking back on it now, I can’t help but see a resemblance between those unforeseen gifts and Christ’s work through the resurrection.

Look at the verse below,

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’" – John 20:19-23

One of the most amazing, wonderful messages of the gospel is that it’s not over. Just like my old Easter-egg hunt, which didn’t end with the capture of the giant bunny, Christ’s work didn’t end at the resurrection. Instead, he gave us the Holy Spirit. The unexpected gift, that continues to remind us how much he loves us, and the sacrifice he made so that we could be together again. So this year, celebrate Easter with a grateful heart, and remember the love Christ has for you.

Intersecting Faith and Life: Take a moment to meditate of Jesus life, death, and resurrection.
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