Many Christians today look forward to Easter – chocolate, bunnies, colorful egg hunts, family dinners, church services, oh and did I mention chocolate! What’s not to love? But Easter is more than a new Sunday dress, or white shirt and tie – its significance is far greater than one Sunday a year.
To fully appreciate the resurrection of Jesus, it is important to understand what resurrection really means, not just in the spiritual manner, but also in a human (like you and me) manner. Humanly a resurrection is like transition – it’s the beginning of a journey, living into who and what God created us to be in the first place.
It is, one’s life story, coming to grips with the idea that God knew us before we were conceived and has a plan for us. Jeremiah 1:5 says, I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
Resurrection is not about changing who one is, like transition, it is about affirming who one is, who we have always been, and who we will always be. One of my favorite passages of Scripture in the Bible is in Psalm 139:13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”
There are no mistakes. There are no “oops” with God. He created us in His image. So coming to grips with the truth of what God said is vital to our sanity as human beings.
Sometimes we stare in the tombs of our pasts, we come to recognize that who we are or who we were supposed to be, according to our society, is not at all who we are. Sometimes we just don’t fit the mold that is set by others’ expectations. We end up with lives filled with fear, anxiety and depression.
We were created in the image of God. We were created to be like God. We were created to love. The Scripture says that the first commandment of God is for us to Love Him, with all our heart, soul, mind and being. And the second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. It doesn’t tell us to love our neighbor as ourselves unless they are different than you.
Much like the apostles who ran into that empty tomb, we wrestle with many questions and doubts and disbeliefs imposed on us by others. Those apostles expected Jesus to be there, but He wasn’t. We expect life to be a certain way, but it isn’t.
The plain simple truth that we have heard all our lives is “What the world needs now is love sweet love.” The most important reason Christ rose from the dead was to prove to us that He loves us. The resurrection was a sign of His deity. Imagine, the God who created us, willing to die for us. Is there a greater love?
For over 2000 years the name of Jesus has not just reformed sinners, but changed lives. A few men and women witnessed the resurrection of Christ and believed His promise found in I Corinthians 15:21-22 “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
“I serve a Risen Savior, He’s in the world today. I know that He is living whatever men may say. I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer. And just the time I need Him, He is always near. He lives, He lives! Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. He lives, He lives! Salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.”
“He Lives” A Hymn written by Alfred H. Ackley