Awake at Sunrise with a warm cup of coffee to greet you this bright and glorious morning. The most pristine dresses and the finest button down shirts ironed and laid out waiting to be worn. All the eggs are dyed or filled, ready to be hidden. Decorative baskets packed with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans sit on the tables for the children. Pastel colors coupled with vibrant Spring flowers illustrate the most beautiful day. Church, family photos, then a large gathering for dinner wrap it all up for yet, another wonderful Easter Celebration. This is probably one of the most significant holidays in your life and so preparation is actually anticipated. Easter preparation is enjoyable, it’s diligent, it’s remarkable because we get the honor of celebrating Life. Not just Life in general, but the Life that set us free.

What a joyous day we have in Easter! We love hearing the various Easter festivities and plans people have going on this day. Does your Easter look anything like this? Does it feel alive? Can you sense the greatness behind the cross?

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The preparation before the cross were pivotal moments for us. The times leading up to Holy Week consisted of Jesus spending time with people — loving, healing, restoring, and teaching people. Jesus mastered the ability to love people no matter their circumstance. We can certainly match up the insurmountable joy people felt when being around Jesus, with our excitement for Easter nowadays. The hope in our Pastor’s message, the exuberance we experience with our families around the supper table, the endless smiles on our children’s faces coincide with the nature of being around Jesus.

Yet the peril of the Cross. Jesus’ last days were far different from the bright and vibrant colors of today’s Easter. Receiving the sin of humanity, He clothed himself with the burden of the Cross. Amongst all the chaos and torture, Jesus kept us in mind. Here is the awesome part behind these last preparation days: it does not compare to our Easter activities. We do not have to prepare ourselves for death, we get to receive life. We do not have to anguish in pain, we can rejoice in gratitude. We do not have to carry the burdens of our sins, we can enjoy freedom. He paid the cost, we keep the change.

The surprise, the shock, the fear that appeared on the faces of those who recognized the empty grave must have been a unique expression. How would you have reacted to the shout of, “He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:6). Perhaps the same as the women with the spices who instantly shared the news with others, or like Peter running to look for yourself. Maybe you are not sure how you would have reacted, which is fine, because Easter Sunday gives you that opportunity. The beauty in all this is that we still get to respond to Jesus’ resurrecting power. We still get to shout, “He has risen!”

The preparation before the cross carried out the purpose Jesus was sent for. What a Savior! What a Love! Here at Coast City, we love that we get to honor the living Jesus with you. In Unity, we all come together to celebrate what has already been done for us. We get to commemorate the greatest Victory ever won. We get to excitingly prepare our best outfits and meals because God’s Best was given to us. All that was done before the cross is a blueprint for us to live by. But what was done after the cross is even greater than the blueprint, it is our re-entry to Heaven. Our ticket to forever, our gift of freedom, our power to Live — all from the Life of One.

Coast City, we look forward to celebrating Life with you!