As Easter Sunday draws near (okay, it’s tomorrow) i’ve been reflecting on this holiday in a way i haven’t in years previous. don’t get me wrong, i love egg hunts, easter baskets, and chocolate bunnies (did you catch the vegie tales reference in the title?) as much as the next guy.. er.. gal, but none of those things have anything to do with why we celebrate this day. besides, the Zaepfel family doesn’t do the whole Easter bunny thing anyway, we have an Easter chicken. yep, that’s right, chicken. he’s old, bald, and flaps around dropping treats from a vending machine. he’s my grandpa, in case you were about to question the sanity of the Zaepfel family. which you should maybe do anyway. however, getting back to the task at hand here, the cause of this musing (sorry, had to use it) was brought on by a sudden thought in my car the other day and then further encouragement from a friend who has no idea he spurred this post. the random thought in my car was “i’m so thankful for my friends”, which isn’t really that random in my life because i think that quite often. what was random about that particular thinking of this thought was what immediately followed. it wasn’t just “i’m so thankful for my friends” but “i’m so thankful for my friends, and i’m so thankful that Jesus died for them”. unforutnately, this thought was almost immediately forgotten (probably because justin beiber came on the radio and i had to rock out).
However, last night i was texting a good friend of mine asking if he wanted to join a group of us at a bar we were headed to and he politely declined for the good reason of he was watching The Passion of the Christ. i read this text and was immediately ashamed. It was Good Friday.. and it never even crossed my mind to watch that, or read the biblical account, or do anything of that nature. Why not? Why did i let this week go by without giving what this week means more than 2 seconds in a car worth of thought? My only answer is i got busy. busy with life. it’s a terrible excuse and i’m ashamed to admit it, but i allowed what was going on around me to consume my thought life rather than focus on the last week of Jesus’ life. i thought i was doing so well this week trying to stay focused on the Lord and not let certain things around me lately distract me. FAIL. pride comes before a fall. there’s the evidence. bag it up and take it to the guys at CSI.
So for the past 24ish hours i’ve been thinking about why i’m grateful Jesus died for me this Easter (better late than never right?). and though there are a multitude of reasons, i’m gonna focus on 1. my friends. God has blessed me with unbelievable friends. when i think about the people in my life, the word that describes them is “quality”. i use that term quite often (product of Grove City College where that word is used A LOT). the people in my life that i am blessed to call my friends are the most wonderful, kind hearted, loving, Godly, quality people. who gets to have friends like we do as Christians? how many people have innumerable names come to mind to call upon when in tears and in need of prayer? who can gather with their friends and talk about life and the Lord and our purpose? The difference between my friendships with those who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and my friendships with those that do are so incredibly different. I know that i will be friends with these people forever and ever and to eternity and beyond. it amazes me that Jesus died, not only for me, but for all these amazing people in my life so that i will never have to say goodbye to them. God sent his son, not only for me, but for us. and that fact leaves me astounded.
So thank you to all of you who are my friends, i am thankful for your frienship more than i could ever say. and to my roommate, Steph, i cannot even begin to express in words how thankful i am that Jesus died for you. without you, i have no idea what my life would look like. You encourage me, share your wisdom with me, and are such a light in my life. I am so glad that God ordained us to be roommates long ago before we were even born. He had a plan, and i am so glad He did.
so maybe it didn’t occur to me to watch The Passion of the Christ… (which ironically i can’t watch due to a sensitivity to the crucifixion story which i’ve had since i was a child. picture me in a movie theater with my entire high school slumped unconscious in a seat and then being dragged out by 2 teachers and surrounded by more teachers freaking out because i wasn’t coming to)… but because of what Jesus did so many years ago, i have a friend who did.