Pine Trees And Easter

One of my favorite Easter memories is also related to my story of how I came to faith in Christ. You see, my journey to salvation was just that—a journey. I grew up in an evangelical, bible-believing church. I knew all the answers at Sunday School, but I knew early on there was more to knowing God than simply knowing about Him. I started really questioning my faith in the 4th grade, but I was a skeptic and needed convincing—I needed something tangible and physical. Here’s part of my story:

Every Easter after church, my extended family would gather at my grandparent’s house for Easter lunch. I’m sure many of you have similar traditions. This particular year when I was in the 6th grade, my grandfather walked his eight grandchildren out to the backyard and told us to look at the tops of the pine trees in the yard and how the new growth at the top forms a cross at Easter signifying new life in Christ. He reminded us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and these crosses on the tops of the trees are there to remind us of His love that went to the cross for us. I needed empirical evidence God existed and this was did it for me.

At that moment the Holy Spirit penetrated not only my mind, but my soul as well. I knew there was nothing I could do to earn or merit the grace of Jesus because I truly understood that I was a sinner and had disobeyed God, but finally I was ready to let go of my sin and trust Christ. It was shortly after that Easter that I publicly professed my faith in Jesus. To this day, I think back to that Easter and the impact it had on my faith formation. I’m so eternally grateful for parents and grandparents who cared enough to share the greatest story ever told to future generations.

Once I became a believer, scriptures I’d read before became real to me in a new way such as:

Hebrews 12:2–fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ephesians 3:16-19 speaks this – Paul writes asking that God would strengthen us by the power of his spirit so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

AND John 3:16- for God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son that whoever would believe in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

2 Corinthians 5:17–Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!

And Romans 5:8- That God demonstrates his own love for us in this- that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.

Do you know Jesus? Have you experienced His grace? His love is evident in creation-all creation reflects the glory of God!

One of my favorite newer hymns, How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”  Stuart Townend echos this truth- of the vast and great love of Jesus Christ:

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

2 thoughts on “Pine Trees And Easter

  1. Thanks Will for sharing your Easter story. I was 2 grades older, when at a youth retreat I found my Friend in Jesus at Bethany Beach, Delaware. Very shortly, our family moved from Fort Belvoir, VA to Fort Benning, GA.

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