The chocolate bunnies are marked for clearance. The craft stores are putting up their Fourth of July displays. But while Easter may be over for grocery stores and retail giants, it is far from over for Christians.
Easter is our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, the cornerstone of our faith. If Jesus’ resurrection had given us only salvation from our sin, it would still be an unbelievable gift — but in reality, the resurrection of Jesus has given us so much more.
There are (at least) three reasons why we believers don’t stop celebrating now that the calendar says Easter has come and gone. And there are specific ways I’m going to try to live each of them out in the coming days.
We have (abundant) life
Even in the early church, some people questioned if Jesus’ resurrection actually took place. The apostle Paul made it clear to some of the doubters how very serious such questions were (see 1 Corinthians 15).
If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, Paul reasoned, then we would still be in our sins, following a useless faith and a weak god. We would have no hope either in this life or the next.
Paul recognized that Jesus’ death and resurrection are the very source and strength of our faith, and because of that, our only hope for true life. Because Jesus rose from the dead, not only are we free to live with Him for eternity, but our life on earth now has real meaning and joy that we would never have experienced otherwise.
“I came that they may have life,” Jesus said, “and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Because of this abundant life Jesus gives us, my otherwise ordinary days should look different. Personally, I’m going to choose to see the grace I am given every day during this season of singleness — even though it isn’t the season I expected to be in by now.
We have (constant) assurance
No matter what problem you are facing today, if you are a child of God then your biggest problem has already been resolved and redeemed.
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
If God gave His only Son to rescue us, He has already given us the greatest gift He could. If He loved us enough to give us so much, we can trust that He loves us enough to give us whatever we need. No matter what we face, we can be assured that God will not leave us alone in our problems just like He didn’t leave us in our sins.
Because of this assurance, I’m going to trust God with my future plans (and my confusion about future plans). He knows where I should be spending my time and energy, and He will guide me as I keep seeking Him.
We have (forever) hope
When Jesus’ friends took His body from the cross, they clearly did not expect Him to live again. They wrapped Him in cloth, put Him in a cave-tomb, and covered the entrance with a heavy stone.
But none of that kept Him there. Nothing held Him down, and even the power of death could not keep Him from life.
God. Will. Win. No matter how hopeless our situations may feel or how hard it is to trust Him when things are dark, Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that God never loses. He is so much more powerful than anything that comes our way, and He will not be bested by death or sin or any other enemy.
Because Jesus rose again, we have a sure hope for our future resurrection. We too will rise again, leaving this sin and death and sickness and hardship and pain and grief behind. Forever.
As I think about friends and family who do not have a saving faith in Jesus, remembering Jesus’ power over death reminds me of His power to rescue them, too. I can trust in His love for them and pray that He will bring them into His family.
Easter isn’t over
When Paul was finished reasoning with the resurrection-doubters, he ended with a charge:
“THEREFORE” – in other words, BECAUSE of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the victory He has given us – “my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Because of Jesus’ resurrection we have been given life, assurance and hope. Because He lives, as the song says, we face tomorrow (and today) with a passion and energy that defies defeat and we know will be rewarded. We can work hard and confidently at whatever we are called to do because we know that whatever happens right now, we will ultimately be victorious. In fact, because of Easter, we already are victorious.
We have life, assurance and hope — and reason to celebrate every day. How specifically will you celebrate in the days ahead?
Copyright 2019 Lauren Dunn. All rights reserved.