A dear friend sent me these words, and I want to share them with you. They are not her words, but these words – or a variation of them – are posted all over the internet. The ones below are taken directly from a Facebook post in which the author is anonymous:
An old and beautiful legend says that, at the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other large trees of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength, it was selected as the timber for the cross.
But to be put to such a cruel use greatly distressed the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Jesus, in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all, said to it:
'Because of your sorrow and pity for My sufferings, never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross.
Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted, and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross.
Two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal, there will be nail prints.
Brown with rust and stained with red.
And in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember.' These words help ready my heart for Easter, and I hope they do the same for you.
Resurrection Sunday is a time to rejoice! Jesus paid a debt for us that no one else could ever pay so that we could be in heaven with Him for eternity. God gave the perfect sacrifice, His only Son, and if we believe in Him, then we will be forgiven and saved from our sins.
To be saved, you must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for everyone's sins, including your own, and receive Him as your personal Savior so that one day you can be with our heavenly Father. If you believe Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sin, you will also need to admit you are a sinner – as we all are. Romans 3:23 (KJV) says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." If you have never confessed your sin and belief in Christ, take time to do it right now. Jesus is the only way to be saved from your sins and receive eternal life.
Nails were not what held Jesus to the cross. Jesus had the power to come down from that cross, but He knew this is what had to be done for His believers to be saved. He died on the cross for you and me because of His love for us. He loved us that much! "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16, KJV).
On the third day, He rose from the dead. This is the good news that Christians celebrate: His resurrection! He is alive! And one day our Savior will return. He sets us free from our sins! "Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me'" (John 14:6, KJV).
The birth of Jesus is wonderful, but the resurrection is even more exciting. It is the finale to the Christmas story. Jesus accomplished what he came for. Jesus' last words before dying on the cross are documented in John 19:30: "It is finished." He knew that all was completed and that Scripture would be fulfilled. To suggest that more needs to be done to earn your way to heaven is the same as saying Jesus died for nothing. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV).
If you know of someone who is not saved, please pass this on to them. Share the greatest gift of all with that person: a relationship with Jesus Christ and eternal life. Also, share this with your brothers and sisters in Christ, so they may use this to share with others. God commands that we share the gospel with others. We need to help one another become passionate followers of Jesus Christ.
Have a meaningful and blessed Resurrection Sunday, and keep sharing the good news!