This Passover was so different for me personally in so many ways. I wonder if it has been the same for you?
In the lead up to Passover, I had been called into a time of rest and the Lord has been teaching me silence, solitude and sabbath in ways that has been absolutely wrecking me (in a comfortable yet good way - including alot of tears), if I can be honest.
We took a spontaneous trip to Apollo Bay and a visit to the 12 Apostles (only 8 are now standing) just before the long weekend began and it was refreshing, it was insightful and it was so what we needed as a family. We stayed just minutes away from a beautiful beach where we spent a whole day swimming, building sandcastles, watching our boys enjoy their time in the sun and sharing conversations that spoke deeply to our hearts.
Hezekiah brought two sticks to us and asked us to make a cross, so we put the two sticks together and wrapped it with some seaweed. My eldest Hezekiah placed the cross in the sand and went joyfully ran into the water. We had moments that day where I spoke to Him about the death and sacrifice of Jesus and why it is so important to us. He started Prep this year and has come home with a handful of questions around why he is the only one who goes to church and loves Jesus. The months leading up to Passover, we have had a number of conversations around his questions. I am so grateful that the Lord always provides spaces and places for these conversations to take place.
That night we went to bed after a big drive and a big day, and around 1:19am (the morning of Good Friday) I was woken up by the sounds of the ocean waves crashing onto the shores of the beach close by. As I opened my eyes, it took a moment for me to realise what the sound was and then followed an invitation from the Father to sit on the balcony and spend quiet time with Him. As I was still before Him, I closed my eyes and almost immediately it was if Holy Spirit had taken me to the foot of the cross. As I began to look up, I saw Jesus, our precious Saviour on the cross. I could hear weeping of those who were around me. I began to weep at where I had been positioned, at the foot of the cross. I couldn't stop weeping.
My heart was so overwhelmed. I sat there in silence looking up at the cross, as my tears kept falling, I could hear the sound of the ocean waves crashing lightly in the background... That moment was so so personal and it was such a fresh encounter and reminder of what we hold most sacred in our faith as believers. I spent the next 5 hours sitting with the Father, crying tears of sadness being reminded of the ultimate sacrifice He paid and then crying tears of joy knowing that He has risen. This has been one of a few, deep and beautiful encounters I have had. This encounter changed something in my heart that morning.
Just yesterday, I read John 21:15-19 where Jesus restores Peter.
What really stood out to me was verse 19 (reading from the Passion Translation), after Jesus had foretold Peter his fate, Jesus says to Peter "Peter, follow me!"
Peter was already following Jesus, why would He invite Him to follow Him again? What stands out to me, is that there is something about an invitation to follow Jesus afresh after you have witnessed and encountered His death and resurrection. The invitation to follow the Lord, would have carried a weight that might not have been present or realised when Peter was first called.
This Passover weekend, almost a decade on from my first moment of answering the call to follow Jesus, carried a weight I have never experienced before. A weight that speaks volumes, especially when we look around at our world today. These three simple words "Peter, follow me!"... are simple yet profound.
This weekend, and the significance of what they represent doesnt' just end here. It continues on...
I made a fresh decision this weekend to follow Jesus AFRESH. I made a decision to recommit everything to Him, to lay it all down. I made a decision to start fresh and journey deeper than I ever have. Just like people followed Jesus afresh that moment, so are we invited into the call to follow Him afresh...
I pray this speaks to your heart, no matter where you are and what is happening in and around your world today. Return back to Him afresh. Lay it all down and follow Him afresh. He is waiting for you...
Love, Marianne x