the story of saturday

He wakes from a restless sleep while it’s still dark outside, his eyes red and puffy from the events of the past 24 hours.

He barely catches his breath before the weight falls on him and the tears begin again. The guilt is rampant inside his heart, the truth waging war with his betrayal.

“You are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

“I do not know him.”

His mind is tortured as his answer to the question replays 1,000 different ways.  The panic at his betrayal paralyzes him, and his self-hatred only grows. Why did he say that? Why did he have to do that? Coward, the enemy laughs.

The moment Jesus caught his eye haunts him. His eyes deep with heartbreak and love. The paradox drives him further into despair, and the emotions of that moment come flooding back: hurt, failure, guilt, hopeless.

Maybe I could’ve saved him, he thinks. Or maybe, I would’ve just been one of the two hung next to him.

How he wishes he could take it back. What he would give to have a second chance.

A twinge of hope creeps in as he remembers Jesus’ words. Maybe… maybe what Jesus said was all true. Maybe, he will rise on the third day. Maybe he really is the Messiah. But even if he is, would he take me back? Will things ever be the same as they once were?

……….

It’s cloudy outside. A cool breeze shifting the fresh spring leaves on the trees. John peeks through a window from the place they have all gathered, and marvels at how everything appears so normal.

Nothing is normal.

As he watches the branches sway in the wind, he can’t ignore the feeling that something is shifting. It’s more than a feeling, really. It’s a slow, rolling thunder in the depths of his soul.

He hesitates to speak of it, for fear that saying it out loud might be the most foolish thing in the world after what he witnessed yesterday. His best friend, his Lord, the one who loved him, killed in the most brutal way. The sight of his dripping blood, the sound of his agony haunts his memory. Jesus’ last words, “Tetelestai,” replay in his mind, as he tries to discern whether this soul thunder is leading to life or death.

The questions are many. What does this all mean? Were the last three years a waste? Why did this happen? Is this what being the Messiah, our Savior, really looks like? Death?

Where is my God?

……….

She tries to ignore the emptiness in her heart as she carefully gathers the burial spices. She’ll be up before the sun with the women, as they walk in the darkness to honor their Lord.

Her stomach churns at the thought of seeing his lifeless body. She clenches her eyes shut and violently shakes her head, trying to make the stabbing pain in her heart subside.

It doesn’t feel real. How could this man, her Savior, who rescued her from seven demons, be murdered for crimes he didn’t commit? This man who had defended and protected her from death, where was his defense?

In the stillness of night, the questions ring loud. She stares up at the sky, searching for answers, wishing to sit in his presence again. The wind has blown the clouds away, and the stars are twinkling now.

In a few hours, the sun will rise and tomorrow will be a new day all it’s own.

The tiniest twinge of hope rises up within her, like a sprout poking up through the soil of pain and despair.

She counts the days, fights the lies telling her she’s being foolish, and clings to her last bit of hope.

On the third day, I will rise again.

Sunday is coming.

 

 

 

an easter tradition

If you’ve known me for longer than a year, then you know that my maiden name is Reese. 

You also know that, true to my name, I think the peanut butter/ chocolate combination is proof that God not only exists, but that he loves us very deeply. 

And for that reason, it’s only appropriate that this delightfully delicious combination would be highlighted around Easter. 

Growing up, I looked forward to Easter for a variety of reasons. Being a kid with a major sweet tooth (not much has changed on that front), one of the major reasons I loved this holiday was the Peanut Butter Easter Eggs that my mom would inevitably make. 

Peanut Butter Eggs

Peanut butter, mixed with rice krispies, butter and an ungodly amount of powdered sugar, dipped in chocolate, then put in the refrigerator to harden. It’s that simple, and that delicious. Every time I opened the refrigerator, they were quietly calling my name. My young self-control couldn’t bear it, and I would ultimately give in. It didn’t matter if it was 7am and I was on my way out the door to first period. I just needed a bite of that sweet peanut butter and chocolate. If I’m honest, not much has changed on that front either. I may have eaten one for breakfast this morning. Don’t judge me. 

The tradition started with my great-grandmother, and was passed down to my grandmother, my mom and now to me and my sister. Since I moved away from home to go to college, I’ve made my great-grandmother’s Peanut Butter Easter Eggs every year.

This time around, I wanted to share the tradition with a few of my dear friends, Jane and Kelly. We had a blast hanging out, forming the peanut butter into egg-shaped balls, and messy-ing the kitchen with dipping chocolate. I got to share a part of my history with them through something as simple as a dessert recipe. I got to invite them in to my family, share with them something I love, and was reminded that life is sweeter when we live it together, when we are truly known even in the smallest details.  

As an Easter treat for all of you lovely people, I’ve included the super simple recipe below. Maybe you can invite some friends over, share the time together, and enjoy a nice little treat. 

Happy Easter, friends. 

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My Grandmother’s Peanut Butter Easter Eggs 

Ingredients: 

– 1 stick of butter 

– 2-3 C. Peanut Butter (I typically use smooth, but these are your eggs. You do whatever your heart desires.)

– 3 C. Rice Krispies (Completely optional, but adds a nice little crunch.)

– 1 box (16 oz) confectioners sugar (I told you it was an insane amount of sugar. Just don’t think about it. It’s fine.)

– Melting chocolate 

Instructions: 

Soften the butter for about 20 seconds in a microwave safe bowl. You don’t want it completely melted, just soft enough to mix in. Add the peanut butter, sugar and rice krispies in the same bowl and mix together until throughly combined. Form the peanut butter mixture into egg-shaped balls, and place on parchment paper. I typically line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper for easy transferring to the refrigerator after dipping. Melt the chocolate either on the stove or in the microwave. The type of chocolate you use is completely up to you. My favorite is dark chocolate- the bitterness cuts the sweetness of the peanut butter perfectly. Once chocolate is melted, use a spoon or tongs to dip each egg into the chocolate. Once full coated, place dipped eggs back on the parchment paper. Refrigerate until the chocolate is hardened, or for as long as you can stand it without trying one. Store in the refrigerator, and there you go! I dare you to not eat one every time you open the refrigerator from now on.