I Prayed have prayed
Father, thank You for the unfathomable love You show. This Easter season may we come to understand better Your love for us.

Holy Week 2023. As the world around us turns more violent and devoid of love by the day, the beauty of God’s love made manifest in the events we commemorate this week shines brighter.

It was His love — stronger than His disgust and anger over our rebellion — that drove Him to complete the mission He had announced in great detail nearly a thousand years before, through the prophet Isaiah:

Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — everyone — to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,  yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.  Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53).

It was His love that brought Him to take up human form (see Philippians 2:6–8), and He subjected Himself voluntarily to anguish, betrayal, false accusations, torture, humiliation, and the cruelest form of execution ever invented by human beings, whereby He not only endured unimaginable pain but also the darkness of the soul that came from the abandonment of the Father as He carried the weight of our sin guilt on His shoulders (see Matthew 27:45–50).

The betrayal, the suffering, the crucifixion, and then the glory of victory and resurrection make Easter weekend a see-saw of emotions for me. Sometimes I find it emotionally taxing to celebrate. I get angry at what was done to Him, and then I’m disturbed and at the same time deeply grateful that He hung there for me in my sin and rebellion against God, and finally, I’m relieved, joyful, and awestruck that He accomplished His mission and rose again from the dead, paving the way for me and countless others to live in His kingdom of light and to have a relationship with the resurrected Christ.

Perhaps that is why so many Christians favor the warm fuzzies of Christmas over the emotional roller coaster of Easter in how they celebrate. Christmas is important, but Holy Week should lie at the core of our Christian worship. It should awaken in us a deep sense of disturbance over our sin, and at the same time, great reverence and awe at the magnitude of His love – awe that cannot possibly be expressed by eggs and bunnies, but only by reverent, grateful, joyful worship. And this not just on Easter Sunday, but on every day of Holy Week. Reliving the gospel accounts and commemorating Jesus’ last days as expressions of His love are some of the highest forms of worship we can give Him. And then, forward — letting the depth of our emotions at Easter propel us into more fervent worship every day.

That is where we need help. Human nature cannot understand such love. And even when our three-dimensional eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit, we can see but a thimbleful of the ocean of love that exists in God. I need help in my inner being to see the measure of His love and to grow in understanding, awe, faith, and experience. I pray Paul’s prayer:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith — that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:14–21).

I pray all of that for me, and for you, for all His people around the world — that Easter by Easter we may grow in our understanding of the dimensions of Christ’s love: by which He laid down His life for the unworthy so that we could be made worthy of reconciliation with our heavenly Father and have access to His fulness, both in this life and into all eternity.

None of us deserves such love. But we have a God who could not help but give it to us! And He will help us understand it, as well.

How are you praying this Easter? Share this article to encourage others to pray.

(Used with permission. The Deeper Life, by Remco Brommet. Photo Credit: Pisit Heng on Unsplash)

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Darlene Estlow
April 1, 2024

Thank you for this article! How true the thought, “Holy Week should lie at the core of our Christian worship”. How we need to see the level of our sinfulness, how dark it is in each of us, that we can appreciate Easter and appropriate Jesus’s sacrifice so we may be saved. Praise God.

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Helen Phillips
April 1, 2024

Lord God open the eyes of our nation and wipe away delusion that all may clearly see deception and know Truth. Your Word is Truth and righteousness in Christ Jesus

3
Priscilla Meyenburg
March 31, 2024

“Father, You have done much in the last several decades to turn hearts of a rebellious nation back to You. You have plowed deeply through prayers of repentance many times for the sins of this nation. We believe YOU are faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us.” Father God, You have also been exposing evil, uncovering the motives and evil schemes of the wicked, showing the foolishness and depravity of their plan. God when You turned Authority – Matthew 28-18 “says-And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.“ then Jesus “called the twelve together and gave them (power and authority over) all demons and to cure diseases,” God gave His Son Jesus Christ ALL Authority to pass on to US ( when He -Jesus went back to Heaven to sit on the throne in Heaven). As I see the powers of darkness operating in America, I wondered many times How do we use this Authority. God instructs us as Intercessor’s to step into our roles as kingly intercessors, moving in the Authority of Christ Jesus. Jesus gave us this Authority to bind and loose, open and close.God give us insight to bind and break the powers of darkness operating in America. My prayers for this resurrection Season is it is time to step out in our faith to be the part of the Authority Jesus gave us. Bind the powers of Gods words in the scriptures to step in our roles to bind the powered that the demonic strongholds of death, immortality, murder, idolatry. Humanism. atheism and every evil system that are destroying and weakening, America. God we sometimes feel the strength of Jesus Love but sometimes we forget the true presence of His Love and what He did for US. Jesus made us worthy as Believers to carry on His Missions that He prepared us FOR. We need to be more conscious in Christ and put on His Armor believing that we must start standing at Gods Right Hand and declare we have authority to open doors no one can close and close doors no one can open. Many of the Believers hearts and wills turning them toward our Jesus and the Truth He spoke. Many of the sins take a constant prayer, and agreements with the Authority – in the words of a believer, because Gods son Jesus gave us this Authority. (Ephesians : 4:27-28” And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness]. The thief [who has become a believer] must no longer steal, but instead he must work hard [making an honest living], producing that which is good with his own hands, so that he will have something to share with those in need. “ Right hand Authority is our part of the answer to defeat all darkness and evilness that we have allowed in Our America. “ Christ delegated this Kingdom authority to the ( Ekklesia) the church . Giving us His “keys” my heart prays for us all to learn to take Authority that Jesus gave us.

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    Mrs D
    April 6, 2024

    Priscilla,
    Thank you for this insightful commentary. BLESSINGS to you.

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