As Easter approaches, my thoughts go back about 15 years to a missed opportunity to be thankful. A boss, who may not have been completely in touch with her employees, decided to host an Easter egg hunt. I was filled with dread as this sort of activity is not in my comfort zone. I managed to get the job of hiding the eggs, so I wouldn’t have to go searching for them later.
When the day arrived, I hid the eggs and then watched and waited as my coworkers went searching. When all the eggs were found and the hunt was done, we spent a few minutes together opening the eggs to find lottery tickets.
Several weeks later my boss commented that no one had thanked her for the activity. She was disappointed no one appreciated the chance to win the lottery. I could understand why they had not thanked her. I think my coworkers were as unexcited about the Easter egg hunt as I was.
Today, as I remember the incident again, I feel a bit of remorse at not saying thank you. My boss, as best she could, had tried to do something fun and special for her staff. And although we may not have appreciated the hunt, we could have at least thanked her for her efforts to do something nice for us.
Easter is now just a few short weeks away. On Good Friday Jesus died on the cross to be the perfect sacrifice no sinner could ever offer. His sacrificial act allowed each of us to be forgiven, redeemed, and restored to relationship with our Heavenly Father. When we stop to consider the magnitude of the sacrifice of God our Father and Jesus – of our Father giving up His Son, and the God Son coming to earth to pay the price for us – their love is incomprehensible.
Today, it can be easy to take Jesus’ sacrifice for granted. Too often a lifetime of familiarity with the Easter story means we rejoice in Jesus’ victorious resurrection while overlooking His all-encompassing sacrifice. If there is one thing we should be thankful for, it is Jesus’ death on the cross. When we place our faith in Jesus, that one act gives us life when death was a certainty, restores our relationship with our Heavenly Father, allows us to be called His sons and daughters, permits God’s grace and mercy to flow through our lives, allows us to experience His many blessings, and means we not only experience life abundantly here on earth, but also enjoy eternal life with Him.
We may have fallen into taking Jesus’ sacrifice for granted, but it is not too late to be thankful. Psalm 100:4 reminds us to “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
Every Reason to be Thankful
At the foot of the cross, we have everything to be thankful for. Even in the midst of the trials, pain, and suffering we experience as well as in every day life, there is still much to be thankful for. When our eyes are open and our hearts attuned to God’s heart we begin to see His many blessings. God Himself walks with us through our trials, ministers to us in our pain, and redeems our suffering.
My coworkers and I missed an opportunity to express gratitude. Today we have an opportunity we don’t need to miss: the chance to express our gratitude to Jesus for the cross. Through the cross, Jesus carried the weight of human sin and depravity on His shoulders. He did so in order that we might receive life. At the cross we can lay down pain, trial, suffering, difficulty, hate, anger, bitterness, unresolved conflict, disappointment, and frustration, knowing that God’s justice and mercy will see us through. This Easter, remember the cross and remember to thank Jesus for dying for us, and our Father for sacrificing His only Son so that our relationship with Him might be restored.