Updated: Apr 7
It was always the new clothes for me.
From the time I could walk, Easter Sunday meant that I got a brand-new dress, brand new lace socks, new shoes, and sometimes an Easter bonnet to don my light brown head. The night before Easter Sunday, my mom would roll my hair up in sponge curlers, and I would carefully lay out my new clothes for the next morning. Easter always meant a big family picture to look back on, and something special for lunch after church. Undoubtedly, I looked forward to Easter Sunday because, what little girl doesn't love a frilly new dress?
Thankfully, Easter Sunday - the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord - looks different now, and means quite a bit more to me than it did when I was young, but it begs the question:
What do we really think about when we consider the resurrection?
What does the resurrection mean for me today? How does this annual springtime celebration affect my day-to-day life? I'm sure most of us meditate on the cross and rejoice that the tomb is empty, but are we celebrating for the sake of a celebration? Do we decorate our homes in pastel colors and hang banners of faith on our front doors because it is the tradition of springtime? Or do we truly understand the reason for rejoicing on Resurrection Sunday? Are we still celebrating when Monday morning dawns? Are we still thinking about the magnitude of the resurrection when we are paying bills, carpooling to school, or sitting in a meeting? Does this glorious day on the Christian calendar follow us through the weeks and months after the ham has been eaten, and the Easter eggs have disappeared from the stores? We should be continuously celebrating, because without the resurrection, we would have nothing worth being excited about.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14, "And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty." (New King James Version)
The death of Jesus at the cross was not the climatic end of the story, it was the prelude to the glorious crescendo of our faith. Had Jesus not been raised, death would have won. Sin would still have its hold. The grave would still claim the final victory. We needed the resurrection. We needed the hope of a risen King. And today, 2,000 years later, we need it still.
It would do us all well to consider the resurrection not as merely an event to celebrate, but a lifestyle in which to live.
Because of the resurrection, I am a new creation, ever being sanctified and perfected into the image of Jesus Christ. Had it not been for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, I would still be lost in sin; condemned, and hopeless.
Because of the resurrection, I am confident in my hope of salvation, knowing that Christ has atoned for all of my sin once and for all. Without the atoning work of Jesus and his resurrection from the grave, I would still be striving in my own strength to measure up to a measureless standard.
Because of the resurrection, I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk in a manner worthy of Christ. Apart from the resurrection power of God, I would have zero capability to speak gently, act patiently, serve humbly, or love selflessly.
Because of the resurrection, I have the promise that all things will culminate in what is good for me. If it had not been for the resurrection of Jesus, the gospel story would have ended with death, but because of his victory over death, hell, and the grave, no amount of suffering or pain can change the ultimate end for those in Christ. Hallelujah.
The resurrection applies to our everyday lives more than we think. It's the fuel running through our spiritual veins, imparting grace and strength to us as we keep our homes, love our families, serve the body and our community, and work for the glory of God. It is what sustains us when we are weary from the monotonous boredom of laundry load after laundry load. It calms us when we feel anxious by the noise of the culture. It infuses us with boldness to live righteously in an unrighteous world. The resurrection of Christ and the hope we have in our bodily resurrection one day, gives us the lens with which we can view every circumstance, every trial, and every moment of suffering on earth.
The cross gives us cause to soberly look at the devastation that sin brought about. The cross reminds us that our Master died and that we, too, must die to ourselves, but the resurrection of Jesus is the triumphant song we sing as we embrace the hope, the joy, and the life that is ours through Christ.
Hallelujah! What a Savior.