During my childhood Easter was about an egg hunt for candy, a traditional family dinner, and a new outfit. Without Jesus at the center however, there was no meaning, and the holiday always felt empty.
When I started to write about Holy Week this past Monday, I had no idea I’d be writing a mini series of three posts. Deep in preparations for adding drama to our church’s Good Friday Service, I simply couldn’t shake the feeling I needed to take what we’ve been working on and put it “out there”.
Out of the cruelty and the suffering that we’re reminded of during Holy Week, out of the recognition of our own destructive ways (and how we all in effect had a part in Jesus’ death), out of our realization that we are lost without a savior, the Resurrection brings Hope in its ultimate form! God’s promises are true! When we submit to the Creator of the universe and we accept that Jesus gave His life to bring us back into relationship with our Heavenly Father, we are assured of a new life too!
Understanding Jesus’ Resurrection and all of its implications is that simple, and that difficult. Understanding the things of God only comes with submission and a heart that genuinely wants to know Him. But IF we ask, He delights to shower us with all the wisdom that we need; we are His dearly loved children, and He rejoices each time one of us makes the choice to trust Him.
The Resurrection of Jesus gives us a taste of a heavenly reality; we too will have resurrected bodies some day. Bodies that have form and substance– Jesus was touched, He could eat, He was recognizable and still bore scars. But our new bodies will also be immortal, and somehow be able to appear, disappear, and enter through walls at will :-). We won’t ever again experience illness or pain. Being one who struggles some days with aches and stiffness, I look forward to the freedom of such an existence!
In the meantime, eternity starts from the moment we say “Yes”, to Jesus and admit we need a Rescuer. This is what His Resurrection is all about– New Life. Our transformation as Christ followers is a process, but true progress can be seen and experienced all along the way!! The more we dedicate ourselves to knowing the Lord, the more our lives will demonstrate the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us– qualities such as love, joy and peace, also patience and kindness, greater faith, and even an increased measure of self-control.
On this side of heaven we can expect challenges, but we have authentic HOPE– promises that we can count on for the future. Whether you’ve been a Christian for many years, you’re just starting your journey, or you suspect the Easter Bunny isn’t what the holiday celebrates, and you want to check it out for yourself, I would encourage you to find and attend a Good Friday Service this year! Free from the crowds of Easter services, it might give you what you need to really reflect on what the Holy Day is all about.
While a new outfit and a family dinner can be wonderful, don’t let another year go by accepting an egg hunt as a substitution for the real celebration.