I bet you had a good Easter Sunday at Church, with friends and family. My Easter Sunday was great for me, my family and my two congregations.
As you know, Easter is an old tradition the Church has celebrated for centuries. But, the question is “what makes it so important?”
Let me rephrase the question, “how does Easter change you into a better Christian?” Or “how does this celebration transform your everyday living?”
In the following lines, I’m going to attempt to answer the above questions. Let’s use John 20: 11-18 as our Scripture to guide the rest of this article.
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Easter is about God’s story
Take a look at the first two chapters of each gospel in the New Testament. What you see is the way these books talk about Jesus Christ, the reason we celebrate Easter.
All the synoptic gospels talk about Jesus as the Son of Abraham, David, Joseph, Mary, the Carpenter, Son of God, etc.
Unlike in the gospel according to John, he describes Jesus as the Word, the Life, and the Light (see John 1: 3-5).
John presented Jesus as a being who has always been there. “As the Word, He was at the beginning with God.” He also adds that
all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
Easter, therefore, points out to the fact that God’s story has no end.
Jesus, being the reason we celebrate Easter, is God’s story. He is the Word we now have in the Bible, as is present in our lives.
Easter is about God’s power
If you go back to John 1: 3-5, you realize that Easter is about God’s power.
God’s power is that God created everything. And, all that creation took place through the Word (Jesus Christ). Nothing of what we see (or can’t see with our naked eyes) came into existence if not because of the Word.
God’s power is that through Jesus Christ:
- We receive life. Life means we have our being in God (Acts 17: 28). It also means we find emotional stability (through the fruits of the Spirit, see Galatians 5: 22-23) and discover our true identity.
- We receive light. Light gives us clarity, understanding, creativity, sound judgment and allows us to make good choices in life.
Easter is a reminder that Jesus shows up in the midst of our messy places in life
Back to John 20, you come across two incidents, based on the story.
First, you have Peter and John who come quickly to the tomb after Mary has told them that Jesus’ body might have been taken away. They check the tomb speedily and leave to go back to their hiding place.
Second, you have Mary who’s weeping. She walks into the tomb only to see two people standing. Surprisingly, the two disciples, who were there earlier, didn’t see anything new.
Next, Mary will see Jesus Himself, the Risen Lord. At first, she thought that He was a gardener. And, when He called her by her name “Mary,” she then recognized Him and responded saying “Teacher.” See John 20: 16-17.
I can’t honestly tell you why Jesus chose not to show up for Peter and John (His closest disciples) to see him alive and risen from the dead. And, why Mary had to be the first one, according to the gospel according to John, to be the first witness to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Easter story is that Jesus Christ showed up in this place of hopelessness and loss. The tomb means all of that for all of us.
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Easter changes dead ends into detours
John doesn’t give us the reasons why Mary of Magdalene went to the tomb so early on the first day of the week, which is Sunday in today’s calendar (also was the third day after Jesus’ death).
Mark is the gospel that says why Mary Magdalene together with the other Mary, mother of James and Salome, went to the tomb early on the first day of the week. Mark says that they had gone there to anoint the body of Jesus Christ. Read Mark 16: 1,2.
Luke 24 also talks about why the women went to do at the tomb, on the first day of the week. It doesn’t, however, offer the names of the women who went to the tomb.
The point is for these women; whether it was Mary of Magdalene or together with the other Mary, the tomb was a dead end.
Jesus was dead, and it was the end of the story.
Yes, when we take somebody to the burial place, that’s pretty much the end. Isn’t it?
But, in the case of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the tomb wasn’t the end. It was just the beginning of God’s story.
The tomb where Jesus Christ was buried was just a detour!
Instead of stopping at the tomb, God gives us His Word and sends us out to tell other people about God’s story.
God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, changes our itinerary.
For that to happen, one thing you and I have to do is to walk into the tomb where everything is buried. Choosing to do so enables God to show up in the midst of our dead ends. God empowers us to see Jesus.
The places that used to be so hopeless God fills them with His Word, Jesus Christ!
Bringing it together
Easter isn’t just a celebration, but an invitation. And, here’s what I’d encourage you to do on your own:
- Know the dead ends in your life. To do that, read the following:
- Ask God to bring His light into your life so that you know what areas you may have dead ends. Write them down on a piece of paper. You need to see them, just as Mary and the others went to the tomb (dead end).
- Pray and ask God to give you the Word that will send you in the direction God wants you to be (detour). If you don’t hear anything, then talk to a Christian friend asking them to pray for your specific dead end. In case you need more help, speak with your Pastor, a coach, a spiritual mentor or director, or a counselor (if this threatens your health or the health of other people).
I hope this is helpful. Also, I would like to hear from you. What’s your understanding of Easter? And, how does Easter transform your everyday living, as a Christian?