Our two youngest granddaughters make Easter egg hunts a year-round sport. Whether the calendar reads July, December, or April, as soon as they enter our home, they make their plea, “Gigi, let’s hunt Easter eggs.” Bad weather? Indoors works, too.
No matter what other fun we plan, the hunt for empty, plastic Easter eggs is the priority. (Of course, when Poppy helps, the girls sometimes find coins in the eggs.)
“Okay, Gigi,” the girls say after they’ve hunted. “Now we’ll hide them, and you find them.” I wonder why they’re intrigued by the repetitious activity of finding normally empty plastic eggs throughout the year.
I suppose the hide-and-find aspect resembles a treasure hunt—the thrill of the “find.” They search from low tree limbs to grassy patches and delight in discovering purple, pink, and yellow eggs. Of course, the pitch of their sweet voices heightens when they find the best prize of all—the golden egg.
I found two golden treasures this week as I reread what Jesus prayed shortly before the first Resurrection Day. John 17, a passage often labeled the “High Priestly Prayer,” begins, “Jesus … lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come’” (v. 1, NKJV).
Jesus then prayed for Himself (vv. 1-5), for His disciples (vv. 6-19), and for future believers (vv. 20-26), including us. 1
When His heart and His words turned to us—those who would seek forgiveness, believe on His name, and surrender to His Lordship centuries later—Jesus asked that believers be united as one like He and the Father are one. Then He added, “that the world may believe that You sent Me” (v. 21).
I clutched the first treasure in this part of Jesus’ prayer and tucked it into my heart. What a treasure for us to consider—that our fellowship in Christ and with each other would influence the spread of the gospel.
What a treasure for us to consider—that our fellowship in Christ and with each other would influence the spread of the gospel. Click To Tweet
Jesus prayed for our unity because it enhances an effective witness to the world. Unity includes marriage, families, and among friends, coworkers, neighbors, and church members.
Believers are to “be one” like Jesus and the Father are one. I’m sure you’ll agree harmony on this heavenly level requires the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. When we treasure this part of the prayer and draw closer to our Lord, He will provide wisdom for troubled relationships and instruct us in how to promote unity.
The last words of Jesus in verses 22-23 were the next golden finds I treasured. I concentrated on these verses more than I ever had before.
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me (vv. 22-23).John 17:22-23 NKJV
I paused to consider the face and heart of Jesus as He looked to heaven just days before men hurled spit and hatred upon Him. Days before soldiers enjoyed mocking and beating Him. Days before thorns pierced His head and nails punctured His hands and feet. Days before His mother, Mary wept at His blood-stained feet.
In this prayer John recorded, at that particular moment in time, Jesus talked to God the Father about me—one who would surrender to Him centuries later. Through tear-filled eyes, I continued to read.
The words Jesus spoke to the Father tell us God loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Ponder that. How could God possibly love me as much as He loves Jesus? “For God so loved the world …” (John 3:16, emphasis mine.)
Numerous verses in the Bible mention God’s love. 1 John 4:10 reads,
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”1 John 4:10 NKJV
Jesus demonstrated love. Max Lucado wrote, “When asked to describe the width of his love, he stretched out one hand to the right and the other to the left and had them nailed in that position so you would know he died loving you.” 2
As we reflect on these two treasures in the prayer of Jesus, we can look toward Easter with a renewed sense of our relationship to God through His beloved Son—our Savior—the Lord Jesus Christ. May we draw closer to Him and may our unity demonstrate His magnificent love to others.
As you read the events of the crucifixion and Resurrection, place the treasures you find in the Easter basket of your heart to give you a renewed view of Easter.
Which parts of the Easter story are golden finds to you? I look forward to reading your comments.
Here’s a link to another Easter post: Is Your Heart Dressed for Easter?
Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday.
1 The ESV Study Bible, Crossway: Wheaton, Illinois, 2008.
2 Lucado, Max. He Chose the Nails: What God Did to Win Your Heart. Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 2000.