Happy Easter all! I’m grateful for this time of year, when Spring is finally emerging out of Winter’s gloom. It’s been an emotionally taxing week, and thus I’m grateful for this hope-filled weekend.

I’ve been doing some light Bible studying for Easter weekend, and I’m loving the cross-references I’ve found between the Easter message and other New Testament verses! Thank goodness for online Bible studying tools, they’ve helped this be a breeze.

Much of the Easter message coincides brilliantly with these verses from the book of John.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

John 10:11

And then, my new favorite Bible verse!

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13

I love this so much. To me, this poetically sums up the theme of Good Friday, the day of remembering His sacrifice. What He did was hands-down the most selfless act anybody can do. There truly is no greater act of love than to willfully sacrifice your life for the sake of others.

And love it was, even for those who reviled Him (looking at you, Pharisees!) Jesus saw them all as individuals who He was willing to die for.

It calls to mind the sacrifice of the lion Aslan from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

‘The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”’

Mark 12:31

Folks, it looks like Jesus is the original Mr. Rogers! Honestly, as the English major that I am, I love the choice of “neighbor” as His people word here. He’s referring to all people, not just the people we call our friends. All the world’s people’s are our neighbors, and Jesus lay down His life for them all.

Check out the repeat of this message in this verse from Galatians:

‘For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”’

Galatians 5:14

Being kind to everyone, even when they aren’t always kind to you, is an act of supreme mercy and compassion. Jesus provides an excellent example of what it means to love all people. May we all, myself included, follow His example. Especially these days, with so much pain and suffering running rampant. We could all use more kindness right now.