Christians around the world are celebrating “Holy Week”—the final week in the ministry of Jesus Christ that includes the two pivotal moments in his life so significant to the Christian faith: his death and resurrection.

The stories of Jesus and his life, ministry, death, and resurrection were among the most important ways I learned about God and all the ways we are divinely loved and cherished. From a young age I heard the story of the creation of the world—and how what God created was good, and that the first act of God is to create, not destroy. I heard the story of Noah and the flood, and learned that even in great adversity, all is not lost. I listened intently to the stories of the Exodus and how God’s people were saved from slavery. It taught me that even when the odds seem insurmountable, God has a plan.

Stories like the one of Jonah and the whale taught me that the strangest circumstances are within the span of God’s control. The story of the Hebrew worthies and the burning, fiery furnace helped me understand that even when goodness is met with evil, God will ultimately succeed. The story of Daniel challenged me to live my own life in such a way that God’s grace would be apparent, even in my personal life.

It is in this context that I approach Easter weekend with a heart of gratitude. While many of the stories—including those about the death of Jesus Christ—contain elements of tragedy, horror, and sadness, all of these stories culminate in the events of the morning of the Resurrection: Easter Sunday. For someone raised in a non-liturgical tradition, the story of the Resurrection is the peak, the highest point, of our Christian faith and our greatest hopes.

If you are celebrating Easter this weekend, I pray for God’s richest blessings on your spiritual journey through this important moment. If you are wondering why this moment is so important to Christians, think of it as the story of our greatest hopes and aspirations for the future, forever rooted in the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Many of our Adventist HealthCare staff and colleagues will be participating in religious services this weekend.  My family and I will be celebrating Easter with our church family.  May we each be blessed by God as we contemplate his grace and unwavering love for our world.