Love is the reason for Easter season

Published 10:05 am Saturday, April 23, 2011

Love. A four-letter word tossed around way too carelessly in my opinion. Have you ever questioned what love really is? Is it a strong liking for someone?

Is it the moment when a mother looks into her newborn baby’s eyes after delivery? Is it a special bond with a sister, brother or friend?

Merriam-Webster defines love as a noun: 1. A strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties 2. An attraction and tenderness felt by lovers 3. An attraction based on sexual desire (which I would call “lust”) and lastly, a warm attachment, enthusiasm, devotion or admiration. Love as a verb: to hold dear, cherish or take pleasure in.

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Whatever your knowledge of what love is, have you ever stopped to think that these definitions may not even be true? These terms might even be only demonstrated on a conditional basis.

When I attended a re-enactment of the Last Supper, presented by Gateway Baptist Church Thursday night, I was intrigued by the costumes of the period, the music and just the vigor of the actors playing Jesus and his disciples. I kept thinking, “How would it be to have known Jesus one-on-one and to talk with him as the disciples did?” The thought gives me chills.

Thursday’s scene was more than a re-enactment, but a demonstration of God’s love for all of us. He loved each of us so much that he said, “you know what, I’m going to come down, wrap myself in flesh and help these individuals get a chance to enjoy heaven with me (John 1:1, 14). When Jesus died on the cross, he showed every man, woman and child what unconditional love really meant.

The bible in John 10:10 says (paraphrase) “There’s no greater love a person has for someone else than the by laying down his life for a friend.”

I feel this verse speaks more than just “dying” for someone, but it means making sacrifices and showing mercy, unselfishness and forgiveness to someone who has hurt you deeply or who doesn’t deserve kindness, which is a sacrifice at times. You literally put yourself on the backburner to make sure the other person is happy (Philippians 2:3-4). Isn’t this what Jesus did for us?

As we celebrate Easter this Sunday with our dresses, our egg coloring kits and of course yummy Easter baskets (which I so want one), let’s remember the reason for the season. Love.