A few thousand years ago there were two people named Adam and Eve who lived upon the earth. They lived in a beautiful garden. Their days were filled with laughter and their hearts were filled with peace. The only work that was required of them was to guard their garden home against predators that might try to invade and destroy this sanctuary of heaven on earth. Every day, the One who had fashioned them and brought them to life came to visit and talk with them. He was so proud of His creation and more than anything He wanted to be close to His children and provide for all of their needs.

One day, they weren't guarding the garden as closely as they should have and a Destroyer slipped into their midst. He challenged their relationship with their Father and hinted that He really didn't have their best interest at heart. The devious words of the Destroyer pricked their heart and soon they fell prey to his lies. The man and the woman did the one thing their Father had told them not to do and that was to not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. As soon as they partook of this fruit, the perfect world that they had once lived in became open to fear, shame, guilt, and pride. (See Genesis 2-3)

Now fast forward 4000 years. The world has become over run with sickness, disease, lawlessness, hopelessness, chaos, and strife. Then on a dark night in the middle of a cold lonely stable a young mother lays her infant Son in a manger. Suddenly there is a host of Angles declaring to the nearby Shepherds that this tiny babe of Bethlehem is in fact the Savior of the world who will take away the sin of the world and bring restoration back to the earth. After 30 years of living as a normal Jewish boy, Jesus submits Himself to be baptized by His cousin, John the Baptist. As He is coming up out of the water, the heaven's open and what appears to be a dove descends from the heavenlies and rests upon Jesus. Suddenly, the voice of God declares to everyone "This is my beloved Son. In Him I am well pleased, listen to Him. "(Luke 3:22)

For the next three years Jesus went about doing good, healing people of their diseases and proclaiming a new message of hope to all (Acts 10:38). The people were astounded by His miracles and followed Him everywhere. Unfortunately, everyone wasn't thrilled with His messages and His miraculous demonstrations. Their hearts were filled with jealousy because they feared losing their positions in society. So they began to spread rumors and lies about Jesus. Finally, one of His own disciples and close friends betrayed Him and Jesus was arrested (Matthew 26:47).

The one who had come to set mankind free was now a prisoner. They hurled insults at Him, mocked Him, spit on Him, whipped Him and beat Him. Finally, they nailed Him to a cross and watched Him die in agony and shame (Matthew 27, Mark 15). The last words that He spoke declared His primary reason for coming to earth; "Father Forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)

After His death, they laid His body in a borrowed tomb and rolled a huge stone in front of the entrance. Three days later a group of women came to the tomb in hopes of being able to give Jesus a proper burial (Mark 16:1-5)). When they arrived they were surprised to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. As they turned to go back home, Jesus appeared them. The one who came to give us abundant life was now risen from the dead! For the next 40 days, Jesus appeared to many people. The sorrow that they had experienced at the cross was now turned to joy.

From the very beginning of time, God has made a way for mankind to be restored to the fellowship that Adam and Eve experienced in that garden over 6000 years ago. During Easter we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ because through this act of love the Father's forgiveness for all the world was made available. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever would believe in Him and follow His ways would have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Jesus overcame death so that we could overcome the troubles of this world (John 16:33). The Easter basket that God offers to us is filled with His promises of all the good things Jesus died to give us (John 10:10). They are hidden throughout His Word in plain sight so that everyone can receive them. All you have to do is reach out in faith and take hold of them. When you do, your life will abound in hope and overflow with His peace. The pathway to God is open to all who choose to come to Him and receive His grace, love, and forgiveness. 

Cinde Lucas is an ordinary person, who happens to LOVE to encourage and motivate people! She has a passion to share the Love of God with people and to let them know that God is GOOD and He has an AWESOME plan for their lives! Cinde truly desires to lead people into a closer relationship with God through music; her prayer is that the ministry we share will uplift and encourage people to be all that God created them to be. Visit Overflow Ministries atwww.CindeLucas.com.

Publication date: April 2, 2012