Hello, my name is Marie Knuckles. I was baptized in 1999 in Brooklyn, New York, and I currently live in Monrovia, Liberia (West Africa) with my husband Willis and two children Samuel (15) and Nala (12). I am excited to share what Easter means to me.
Easter is the holiday commemorating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus on the third day after his death by crucifixion. While it is meant to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, this message is gradually being substituted for one revolving around family and togetherness. In the western world, chocolate eggs, bunnies, beautiful dresses, and family gatherings play a special part in celebrating Easter.
Some families go to church to hear one of the familiar messages and themes that is heard every Easter Sunday. Most families plan grand dinner parties with delicious home-cooked meals. Those that do not have family are invited to the homes of friends and coworkers.
Growing up in Haiti, I celebrated Easter like any other holiday. In my early twenties, I was blessed to have traveled to the States where I eventually got converted in the Singles Ministry and met my husband. Studying the Bible with disciple sisters in New York and doing the ‘Cross Study’ gave Resurrection Sunday a new meaning in my life. I began to see Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, the one true king who died on the cross for my sins so I can have a personal relationship with God. Because Jesus died on the cross, my sins are forgiven! I can live with hope and not condemnation. That’s what Easter is all about for me. Romans 8: 1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus”
I am grateful that through 23 years of personal and spiritual ups and downs, I remain faithful to God. Easter represents not only Jesus’ victory over death; it also reminds me of the pain and suffering that Jesus endured for the forgiveness of my sins. Jesus’ Resurrection set me free and gives me hope of salvation. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”
In Matthew 28:1-7, Mary Magdalene and Mary went to look at the tomb for Jesus among the lost, the forgotten, those whose destiny may have been sealed in Hell; but Jesus was not there. This same victory over death is promised to all of us as disciples if we remain in Christ to the end. Like Jesus, we will not be found among those who are forgotten or lost in death. We will live forever in Heaven! While the message of family and togetherness is a good one, let us not forget the true meaning of Easter: The victory of Jesus over eternal death, that is promised to us as well.
May the joy of Easter fill our hearts and homes always.
To God be the Glory!
Marie Bernadette Knuckles writes from Monrovia, Liberia