The Message of Easter
Interestingly, after seeing the cover of Newsweek proclaiming this is no longer a Christian nation, I read an article in my local newspaper today that said two-thirds of Americans are planning on attending church services this Easter. That’s a lot of people who are basically supposed to be abandoning Christianity, if you believe Newsweek.
Easter is one of those holidays that everyone enjoys. The kids love the egg hunts and candy, but Easter is not necessarily about bunnies or colored eggs. Easter is about the Resurrection of Jesus. Specifically, the holiday is about Jesus being crucified and risen again from the dead.
I realize that in these troubled times it is sometimes difficult to keep our eyes on the Lord. Easter, however, is one of those days out of the year that many folks who would not normally look to Christ decide to come to church and worship Him. Some folks are full of faith, and are regular attenders, and that is great as well. But for everyone, Easter is an opportunity to remember His sacrifice.
Today I am looking forward to joining my family and friends in celebration of the gift the Lord has given us. Afterward, we are going to congregate at my mom’s house for a special meal, and an opportunity to spend time with some members of my family that I don’t get to see very often.
For some folks, Easter may be a very different story for them. Easter might simply be a reminder, like Christmas, of someone who is no longer with them. And with every year that passes, these lost loved ones are remembered and missed. So, for some, because of this, Easter can be a bittersweet day.
Death can seem cruel and harsh. And to be honest, I believe that is exactly how the disciples felt when they saw the beaten, bloodied body of Jesus hanging on a Roman cross on Calvary. Jesus had been betrayed by one of their own, Peter had denied Him three times, and then, in addition to the crucifixion, a Roman soldier thrust his spear into Jesus Christ’s side, and out of it came blood and water.
When the beating heart of Jesus Christ ceased its activity the disciples felt it was over. They assumed that death was the end of Christ.
Imagine the surprise of the disciples when they found an angel waiting for them with good news. The angel said, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.” (Mark 16:6 NKJV).
They thought He was dead, yet this angel had proclaimed He Lived.
Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection means that we as believers do not have to be afraid of death. It can be hard for us to accept that our bodies are wearing out, and that death is on the horizon. However, the Bible says we will have new bodies one day. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:23 KJV).
You see, our bodies are not who we are. They are simply rotting shells. The real me is my soul, my spirit. Our bodies will eventually give up and die, but my soul will live on.
He is the resurrection and the life, and if we believe in Him, though we were dead, yet shall we live.
Happy Easter, and God Bless.