Easter, A New Definition -469

How do we define Easter? With an empty tomb: a cross, or other festive embellishments?
I would have said, “Yes,” to all the above until I read an article on a technique called “grafting.”
A branch is grafted into another tree after a razor sharp knife cuts a deep gash across the trunk into the heartwood. The branch, broken from its past, is placed deep within the slash. And I was brought to my knees. My definition of Easter completely changed.
From the agony of the cross, Christ spread His arms, lifted up His nail pierced hands to His Father with the sins of mankind. Then, a lone solider, making sure the One who’d cried, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” was dead, raised his gleaming spear, and pierced the side of Christ (Luke 23:34, NKJV). Blood and water flowed from the gaping wound: He was dead. Unknowingly the solider fulfilled prophecy: “Not one of His bones shall be broken” (Psalms 34:20). While another, watching over Christ’s body said: “Truly this was the Son of God,” (Matthew 27: 54).
Can we phantom what our Savior endured for our salvation? He provided a place for us to completely graft into His life-saving nourishment. But I’m cut to the quick wondering, how totally am I willing to graft myself to Christ in an intimacy where self dies, and I walk, suffer, feel, and see with a broken heart as He did? Or, How willing am I to dare connect with Christ in grafting my emotions, wants, desires, attitudes, and disappointments into the gash that bleed for me? And how willing am I to relinquish my past unto a relationship with Him? “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Dietrich Bonhoeffer points out whatever we have clung to in the past, whatever has nourished us, other than Christ, has to cease: totally cut off. . (The-Cost-Discipleship-Dietrich-Bonhoeffer/. I agonize with sorrow how I’ve tried to live in both worlds: like oil and water, they don’t mix.
Up to the end Christ prayed we’d be joined to Him: “ . . . that they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21).
My new definition of Easter? Yes, an empty tomb proclaims prophecy is true! But it’s on the cross where Christ’s opened wound shouted, “Come place your life—the branch—in My side for eternity,” that salvation began!
Friend, His side is still open—forever—to you. Easter blessings.