Easter is sort of like Christmas. Once a year we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Once a year we celebrate his resurrection. Many Christians I know seem to focus more on his crucifixion the rest of the year. I have written about this in a previous post. We need to remember the resurrection all year long.
In fact, I think it’s time to wean ourselves from this notion that the resurrection is a one-time event that occurred almost 2,000 years ago. The resurrection of Jesus is a constant, always present, always expanding spiritual power. Yes, absolutely, Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, and rose from the grave. These were part of a series of events in a small corner of the ancient world. But their power and significance live on.
The resurrection of Jesus opened the door on eternal life and shut the door on sin, death, and all evil. This door to life is still open and no one can shut it.
Think back to that devastating morning not long after the crucifixion when Jesus’ remaining disciples were huddled in fear, reeling from the death of their Master. It’s hard for us to begin to imagine their dashed hopes, their utter despair, and their doubts and uncertainties about what to do next. We know what was about to happen. They did not.
All of a sudden, Mary Magdalene came with the absurd news that she had seen Jesus and even talked with him. It was too much for them. They thought she was crazy. How would you have responded to her report? But sure enough, Jesus showed up and talked to the disciples. He rebuked them for not believing, but he also reassured and comforted them.
The emotions in that room must have changed pretty quickly once they realized it was actually Jesus instead of his spirit or an apparition. The human mind was forced to set aside its preconceived notions about life and death and look at things from a more spiritual perspective.
With the resurrection, Jesus made the idea of eternal life more tangible to his followers. He proved that death did not have the ultimate victory over life. This is still true for us today.
Even before his crucifixion and resurrection Jesus had declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. ” (John 11:25 KJV) He doesn’t say, “I will be” or “was” the resurrection. He is the resurrection. Christ is continuously, constantly, and consistently the resurrection. Every day. He never stops being the resurrection. That means the resurrection is taking place right now.
Christ’s resurrection is also our resurrection
The fact that Jesus walked out of the tomb means we can walk out of the tombs we feel buried in: a dead end job, a relationship that has crashed and burned, or a toxic (literal or figurative) environment. Christ is constantly defeating death and rolling the stone away from the tomb our hope is buried in. This is true in the bigger picture of eternity, but it’s also true in the niggly little details of our everyday lives.
How is this possible? Paul promises us “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11 KJV) The same God who raised Jesus from the dead raises us from the big and little deaths we face.
Easter every day
When the disciples finally realized that Jesus was standing in their midst, when just moments before they were entombed in grief, their joy knew no boundaries. What if… we could feel that way every day? What if we could experience the risen Christ every day? Would you act differently? I know I would.
This is my vision for the year, to see the risen Christ every day. What if we could actually do that for more than just the five minutes after we make the resolution? Our hearts are in the right place, we feel safe in the bosom of God’s love, but then the world screams at us for attention, and we race off trying to deal with the demands of work, family, church, and an endless parade of the petty and real emergencies of daily life.
But what if…
But what if we could really start to live each day as if we had just seen Jesus after his resurrection? What would you do differently? I think I would want to be more humble and try to be less opinionated. I would want to tell everyone I saw. I would share my faith more readily. It would give new meaning and purpose to every detail of my life and help me quit focusing on things that weren’t so important.
Will you join me in this endeavor to see the risen Christ every day, to live your life as if you had just seen Jesus on that first Easter morning? I think this is the spirit which helped the early Christian church grow so rapidly at first. It wasn’t about doctrine or ritual or ceremonies or creed. It was about the risen Christ and the resulting freedom from the clutches the material world had on mankind.
There will never be complete unity in the body of Christ over man-made doctrines. Unity will prevail when we all bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus moment by moment, day by day, and year by year, generation after generation.
Easter is every day. The resurrection is taking place every day and will never cease. And it’s happening in your heart right now.
I wish you a most happy Easter, all year long.
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts below.