At the cross

Amazing love, how can it be that you my King should die for me? Amazing love, I know it’s true, and it’s my joy to honor you.

Good Friday, our family was able to visualize and tangibly experience the sacrifice of Jesus for us.

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Lauren and Jackson with their carnations

Both Lauren and Jackson received white carnations as a gift. They symbolized the purity of Jesus that He was willing to exchange for our dark and sinful hearts. In His sacrifice to save us, He shed his blood on the cross. We squeezed drops of red food coloring into the water to remember Jesus’ great love for us, that He was willing to give everything, even His own life, for us. Over the next several days, the white carnations will begin to turn color. Already the edges have tinges of red.

Later that morning, my dad cut down a few small trees on our property, with Jackson observing, and together with Matt they made three large crosses. After digging holes, the kids helped to carry and set the crosses upright.

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Matt and the kids put up the crosses

The middle cross was last, and before we raised it, Jackson showed us where Jesus was nailed to the cross, on his hands and feet. Jackson then picked it up and set it straight.

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Jackson puts up the cross

We all sat down in front of the crosses and worshipped God. We prayed and thanked Jesus for giving His life for us. We sang praises to honor His great sacrifice.

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Jackson, Lauren and me at the foot of the cross

It was a moving experience, and we plan to leave up the crosses. That way every time we look out our windows or go out to play during the day, we will be reminded of Jesus’ amazing love and be compelled to honor Him in all we do.

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Three crosses

Garden prayer and Seder fare

Out in the middle of the woods today, we spread a picnic blanket on the ground.

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Jackson, Papa and Lauren share snacks

As we ate snacks, we remembered what Jesus did before He was arrested. We looked around at the trees and imagined what the Garden of Gathsemene would have been like as Jesus spent His last moments pouring His heart out to His Father.

So, we also bowed our heads, and Jackson led us in prayer thanking God for Jesus dying on the cross.

Tonight, for the first time as a family, we celebrated Passover at our church’s Seder supper. What an amazing experience!

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Jackson ceremonially washes his hands at the Seder supper

Besides spilling three of the four cups of grape juice on the white table cloth, Jackson discovered that matzah is “pretty good.” He also enjoyed helping the other children find pieces of leavened bread in the fellowship hall to throw away.

What resonated with me most was that Jesus is the fulfillment of every element of each Passover tradition. Just as God delivered the Israelites from captivity in Egypt, Jesus severed the chains of sin wrapped around us through the victory He would complete on the cross the day after He shared this last meal with His disciples.

Lauren miraculously managed to stay in her seat the entire time and not make too much noise, thanks to huge quantities of goldfish crackers and Teddy Grahams, as well as Seder coloring sheers.

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Lauren colors while I search for snacks.