By MARY GEISEN

As I looked toward the horizon, the road ahead looked familiar. I had long since memorized each twist and turn, number of potholes, and unexpected bumps in the road. But on this particular day, the familiar looked strangely unfamiliar and the road stretched before me was paved with uncertainty.

Uncertainty fills my line of vision when I lose sight of God along the way. I often forget that my own path to redemption and ultimately to the cross is all because of Jesus. My own beginning and end is the story God chose for me and I can honor Him by reflecting His love to others. Today I walk humbly on the path that Jesus walked thousands of years before knowing He paved the way for me. The road Jesus walked was familiar and the end was certain. But even in His humanness, He asked, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

I pause to recall the number of times I question life’s challenges and struggles. The cry of “why” that is frequently on the tip of my tongue. And in this place of questioning, I look again to the story of a baby, born in humility and dire conditions, to become my Savior and yours. The beginning sets the stage for a life that to the shepherds, angels, and wise men looked glorious. And it was. Even in the middle when many misunderstood Jesus’ mission there were just as many who followed Him, sensing a truth that was greater than anything they already knew.

The symbolism of roads and paths is never lost on me. The connection I seek for deeper understanding always leads me to Jesus. And as we celebrate Easter today, let’s consider the story that marks the beginning and end of the Son of God. We have the incredible honor of matching our footsteps with those of Jesus. We can follow the path to the cross even on the days it feels hard. The death and resurrection is our way to redemption. It is the gift of life that Jesus graciously left behind as He accepted the will of His Father.

On this day of remembering that Jesus came and brought new life for you and me, I am grateful for the grace and unfailing love He left behind. When I struggle with seeing the road ahead, I can rely on knowing that “with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26) and “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). We are never alone. Never! This is God’s promise. This is the hope of Easter and the resurrection life.

Let’s celebrate a new life in Jesus today and everyday knowing the invitation never ends to journey with Him to the cross. May we grow ever closer to the One who entered the world unassumingly and left with the cry of “It is finished.”

FOR FURTHER THOUGHTI pray you feel a sense of joy and hope today as you celebrate your own journey to redemption. Take a few minutes to make a list of all the things you are grateful for as you celebrate new life. Post this list in a place where you will see it daily. Read through the list knowing that this is just the beginning of the gifts that God would love to lavish on you. Celebrate the joy of a life washed clean of sin because of a Savior who loves you dearly.

PRAYER Father God, today I celebrate the gift you graciously sacrificed on the cross in the form of your son Jesus. The sacrifice of life so I may live is beyond my imagination. I thank you for loving me so much that you gave your own son to the world to redeem my messy and broken life. I pray that I may learn to walk in the footsteps of your son and reflect your image to those around me. Thank you for choosing me and inviting me to be your child. I love you and praise you. Amen.

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