Wally Rendel, Pastor of Southern Acres Christian Church in Lexington, KY, sent this moving story in response to our request for Easter illustrations and sermon ideas:

Our daughter, Jill Marie Rendel, was a senior at the Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary, preparing for a children's ministry position in the local church. In February of 1993 she was traveling with the girl's basketball team, heading for Battle Creek, Michigan and a tournament. On icy roads the driver lost control. The school van spun out of control and overturned several times. Jill was thrown out and crushed to death. Only four days earlier, on the college campus, she had been crowned homecoming queen. As word spread of her death someone remarked - "The queen has gone to meet the King." And she did! That's the blessed assurance of everyone who has put their faith and hope in the resurrected Son of the Living God.

When Jill was in middle school she wrote this poem:

Easter is the time of year
When people come from far and near
And every part and all directions
To celebrate Christ's resurrection.

Resurrection is the name
Of the deed that gained the fame,
When Christ the King was crucified
Then three days later made alive!!

~ Jill Marie Rendel