When He Adopted Us
We all know how the story of Easter ends. On Day 1, Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, and then was buried. On Day 2, Jesus was still in the tomb. On Day 3, Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead and reunited with His disciples. Many of us look forward to Easter so much that we miss the meaning of the days that come before it.
However, at that time, the disciples did not know how the story would end. On Day 1, at the death of Christ, all their hope died with Him. On Day 2, they were grieving their friend and leader and hiding from the authorities. On Day 3, they found the tomb empty and saw the risen Christ. The hopeless days and nights ended in joy.
The Family Reunion
In many ways, the Easter story mirrors a family reunion.
In the Philippines, the Holy Week, from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday, includes the longest set of side-by-side holidays in a year. As a result, even in pandemic season, many return to their hometowns to be with their families. For Filipinos, Holy Week is synonymous with family reunion.
In the same way, Holy Week reminds us of our reunion with God’s spiritual family.
But for many children, this spiritual family reunion will not make sense because they don’t know what having a family is like. Unless family is made concrete to them, the beauty of Easter and the fullness of God’s love will remain abstract.
The Intention of Adoption
Without Easter, we all would have been left as spiritual orphans. Without God’s adoption plan through Jesus, we could have been like those children. It was only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that God could fulfill His intention to adopt us.
Because of that death, God could extend an invitation asking us to become part of His eternal family. When we accepted that invitation, we became the children of God, with all the rights that come with it.
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Romans 8:15-17 (NLT)’
The Long Wait
We are all adopted children. We have all experienced the adoption journey. We all know what it means when someone enters our lives and says, “My child, will you join my family?” We all know what it means to have our long wait end in joy.
A child who is waiting for a family is in a very vulnerable position. Many times, they know no other life but this one of waiting. Every day, they swing closer to hope; or to despair. Every day that a family leaves without them, is another day that makes waiting less and and less worth it, because waiting assumes they are holding on to hope. The longer the wait, the longer they wonder, as we all have wondered: “Will my destiny change? Is there a family waiting for me?”
Waiting is nothing new to us. Some of us have sat through a long night, unsure if we would see the dawn, unsure we wanted to see the dawn. Unsure that even if the sun rose, it would mean anything to us. Waiting, swinging between hope and despair, can seem unbearable. But our wait ended with redemption.
The Redemption Story
When God adopted us into His family, He did not just include us in a group. He redeemed us from death. He redeemed us from sickness, pain, and fear. He redeemed us from powerlessness and helplessness. Adoption was God’s method of redemption for the whole world.
Because of Him, we too can be part of a child’s redemption story. We can help redeem the way they see family, the way they see love, the way they see God as a Father. When we open our hearts to a child in need of a family, we mirror God’s decision to open His heart to us.
(Watch our series on fatherhood and adoption here.)
The Final Step
When a child is fully, legally adopted, the state creates a new birth certificate that takes the place of the old one. The birth certificate bears the child’s new identity as part of a forever family.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
When we were adopted by God, our old identity was completely destroyed; our new identity is as children of God and members of His family. With Him, we experience a completely new way of looking at the world. We know we have a destiny, that we can be secure in our Father’s love for us.
The story of Easter is the story of our adoption process. God so loved us that He gave His one and only Son to be crucified, so that each one of us could have the chance at eternity as part of His family. As a result, every Easter season is truly, for us, the celebration of a great family reunion.
This Holy Week, we remember the death, burial, and joyful resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join us for the next seven days on Facebook and Instagram as we reflect on the Easter story and how God made a way for us to become His children.
Related Articles and Resources
Gratitude and AdoptionJune 4th, 2021
Melissa and Carissa Moran share a strong mother-daughter bond established in love and strengthened by gratitude. Carissa was welcomed into the Moran family as a baby and from a young age, she knew how she came to be a part of it. Here are their reflections on motherhood, gratitude, and adoption. […]
Fake News About Adoption (and other myths!)May 7th, 2021
Carissa Moran reflects on fake news and common adoption myths and her personal experience. “They’re probably rebelling because they are adopted.” “You should go look for your biological family.” “Just find shortcuts for the legal papers.” “You’re just adopted!” These phrases are considered commonplace when talking about adoption, whether in movies, teleseryes, or […]
The Impact of Shame and AbandonmentApril 21st, 2021
[Trigger warning: This post contains sensitive themes of abandonment and death.] Why would a mother, or any adult, anonymously give up a baby? Why would they choose to abandon the baby in secret, where no one could see them? Why would they make sure nobody knows who they are, or what they did? On […]