Easter has a way of sneaking up on us! It did the same thing to the first disciples and followers of Jesus as well.
Imagine the hurt and sorrow of the disciples! Everything they had hoped for had come to a terrible end. Jesus, the one they had put their hopes and dreams in, had been brutally put to death. They were filled with grief and despair.
However, they were in for a surprise. The impossible was about to happen. Encouraged by the testimony of the female disciples that the tomb of Jesus was empty, several of the male disciples ran to the tomb to see what was going on. The tomb was empty! In the following days, the risen Christ would appear to all the disciples and each one would come to understand the radical and amazing reality that Jesus had conquered sin and death.
For some of us, Easter may simply be about a holiday, the coming of spring, and the promise of summer. We are thankful that winter is behind us and we have some pleasant things to look forward to.
Easter does come at the time of year when everything is bursting into life! Maybe this is not a coincidence. At the deepest level, the story of Jesus Christ is life: Jesus brings about a new creation and a new humanity!
If we listen carefully, maybe Easter will sneak up on us too. Soon we see Easter’s deeper reality. We come to believe that, in Jesus, something has happened that changes everything for us and for all people everywhere, including even creation itself. We get to the place where we, like the first disciples, realize that sin, all that separates us from God, self, others, and creation, has been resolved and we are reconciled. We become confident and certain that in Jesus, death is swallowed up in victory. We become radically surprised and empowered by the Easter story.
Spring is full of life. It is a short season though, and soon we are into summer, and inevitably back to another autumn and winter.
Easter is also full of life. It is not like spring though. It is not a burst of life and then a falling away into summer and back into winter. Easter is indeed a new creation. The old is gone and the new has arrived. Death is defeated and humanity is transformed in Christ. It is not just life but abundant life. It is not life for a season but for an eternity.
We can come into this new, transforming, abundant, eternal life by coming alongside the God-Man, the God-Human, Jesus Christ. He will bring us fully and completely into a whole new reality. He will lift us to a new horizon and give wings to our feet to ascend the heights. He will give us a heart of love that heals the world and a light that extinguishes darkness.
Easter is life! Abundant life here! Eternal life hereafter! Don’t settle just for the Easter Bunny. Look for the more and the deeper that is found in Easter. Christ died for you! Christ rose for you! For every person and indeed for all of creation, everything is made new! Happy Easter! Joyous Life!
+John, Western Newfoundland