It was Good Friday two years ago that we landed on U.S. soil completing the adoption of our first child. We had endured a long and grueling wait to bring him home, and we were met with a joyous celebration that Easter weekend as friends and family welcomed us home. Since then, we settled in as a family of three, hosted an older child over the winter holidays, adopted that child, moved cities, and then began settling in as a family of four. That Good Friday marked the beginning of a journey into parenthood for me that will forever shape and change the way I see Jesus and the celebration of Easter.
In parenting, there is sacrifice. You learn to meet another human’s needs, and many times, you find that those are not convenient, easy, or desirable for you. Lately, I have begun to realize we have taken on a role that will ask more of me than I ever thought I could give. A role that will change and evolve over time in such a way that it is impossible to plan for what the next season will bring. In our case, it has begun to sink in that we have invited our children’s hearts, including all their wounds, into our previously peaceful home, and our children have begun to let us enter into a journey with them that feels often like a war. We battle for their trust, we battle for their health, we battle for healing in their brains, and ultimately, we battle for their hearts and souls. We battle against our own selfishness, we battle against the temptation to disconnect for self-protection, we battle to trust that God will sustain us in this calling, and we battle to choose love and grace in the face of rejection and defiance. When we stop to rest, we sit with our thoughts and feelings and realize we have battle wounds, and we trust that our God can heal those too.
We trust He can heal our family’s wounds because He has gone before us in sacrifice.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake, Jesus chose to trade all that was good to become that which is void of good. Unlike humans, He is omniscient and all-knowing (Isaiah 46:9-10; Romans 11:33), so He knew fully and entirely the cost and pain of what He was choosing. There was no ignorance in His choice. He chose to love by sacrificing Himself, so that we could have His righteousness. He chose to pour out His blood, so that we might be saved from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9). So when my battle wounds are a result of my own sin, He chooses to bandage and cover them in His love instead of letting me anguish in the full consequence of death that they deserve. His sacrifice has afforded my healing.
Power is a theme in my home. Who is the boss? Who has authority? Can this authority be trusted? It often feels as if it is not just my children and myself present in this struggle, but an invisible third party from their pasts, named Trauma, vying for power and authority. Thankfully, the One that has power and authority over trauma is trustworthy. He has power over the emotions that often roll like tidal waves within me as I parent, and He can be trusted to calm the chaos in my own heart and ultimately my home. In some mysterious way, His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), and what a relief that is in the days when I feel so weak!
Jesus does not just have power over trauma and sin, but even over death itself. He showed this when He rose from the dead.
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
If His is the power that can raise the dead, then His is the power I need each day. Power to restore me when I am weary, and power to forgive me when I fail. Even when my authority cannot be trusted, His always can. I am learning over and over that what my children need most is not for me to use my power perfectly, but to share with them about the Parent who always uses His power perfectly.
It is not just that Jesus has power over death, but that He offers the hope of resurrection to all those who believe (1 Corinthians 15:20-22). He offers hope for this life and eternal life. He asks us to recognize Him as Savior and King, and when we do, He invites us into His presence immediately and forever.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
So there is incredible hope that Christ can one day make my children new creations. Because my husband and I believe that we need Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, there is hope that He now lives in us, and is working in us for His will and good pleasure (Galatians 2:20, Philippians 2:13). He is redeeming people throughout the world, and He is teaching us how to love like He loves.
“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially to those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10
Our hope rests in Him and what He has done. Our hope rests in the only One who can sustain us through the valleys through which He sovereignly leads us. Our hope rests in the permanence of His blood to triumph over all that is broken, including death. Easter is a joyous celebration of His incredible, redemptive, and perfect love in which all of our hope can rest.