It’s Easter week and all over the country people will dust off their Bibles and flock to local churches where they will find specially planned services. Children will dress up in their Easter best and smile for pictures as they wait for chocolate bunnies and egg hunts. There will be brunches, dinners, leg of lamb and spiral ham. Easter has become a celebrated spring holiday.
Festivities aside, the significance of this holiday is much more personal and powerful than a nice brunch or a new spring outfit. It’s more of a holy day than a holiday. Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ. A resurrection that made holiness personal and possible. Easter brings to us the promise of new life and the hope that we can have new beginnings and resurrected lives too.
What will we do with the messages of hope and new life? Will Easter be reduced to chocolate bunnies, new clothes and family gatherings? Or will we take it’s message of resurrection and move into becoming more fully alive?
Jesus died that we might be fully alive in Him. He holds out a new way, a resurrected way to live our daily lives. It could seem like it’s pie in the sky spiritual talk, but it’s a feet to the ground reality. Jesus did not sacrifice his life to make bad people good or even a little better. He went to the cross and died to bring spiritually dead people to life. A life that would go from here to eternity.This is the Easter message in simple form.
Over 2000 years later the Easter story as related in the gospels continues to be told. Rather than the 15 minutes of fame that we are familiar with today, this story is the drama of history repeated, reenacted and re-lived every year since. On the first Easter there were no reporters and no magazine covers with the picture of Jesus on the cross. But there was a woman who said with pure conviction ” I have seen the Lord!” It was personal. Some assumed she was hysterical, but quickly others could confirm her story that the Jesus who was crucified and buried, was now alive. Different versions surfaced but the story could not be suppressed because it was true. It was God’s story to save mankind from the dead lives of religious lists and duties, freeing them to know a personal relationship with a living God.
Because of Jesus we are given grace to live above our circumstances by living under His promise of faithfulness rather than under the pain of our problems. Easter is personal.
Easter is Personal
We have been invited to share in His resurrection through spiritual re-birth. Jesus Himself has invited us to be adopted as sons and daughters. As his children, he did not leave us as orphans but left an inheritance for us to claim in our lives today. To know God as our “Abba Father” is to cease believing he is some fickle God that is out “get us” based on our performance.
Scripture tells us that we are loved, accepted and forgiven. God has so much more for us than living by a “divine to-do” list. Jesus died that we might live with His Spirit within us, His love and life overshadowing ours. Yes, Easter is personal.
This Easter season the world again contemplates the sacrifice of Jesus. And as we attend another service on Easter morning, may the good news not just be old news, but may the truth that he lives be personal. May we all grow closer to the Savior and declare in our own personal stories ” I have seen the Lord!”
My prayer is that we all stop long enough to focus on the new life that Jesus Christ promised to those who believe. May this Easter by your personal resurrection into a relationship of trusting God for the resurrected life He has for you. Yes, a resurrected life in your every day world. A life where you live up above the fears of today and the worries of tomorrow. A life where you learn to rely on the power of God, leaning into that power more than your own understanding. May it be the point in your history where you know you have laid your “stuff” at the foot of the cross, believing that Jesus died for every last messy piece of it. Easter is not just for the masses, He died for you. It’s personal.
And, If you don’t yet know Jesus or follow Him. May this be your time when you realize that a relationship with Christ is not about joining a club or following the rules. It doesn’t matter where you have been or what you have done. Jesus came for people like you, like me—people who He created for His purposes. He invites us into His love. A relationship with Christ begins with a desire to know God and a simple “yes” to believe. May this year, 2014, be your personal resurrection into a new life.
“To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”