From all the drama of Holy Week services, to the solemn reflection of Good Friday communion, and then finally to the celebration of Easter Sunday, when we proclaim and rejoice that ‘Christ is Risen’ from the dead!
I’m probably a Baptist girl at heart (though I don’t always rush to admit it!) and I have fond memories of Easter Sunday morning celebrations when everything from the music; the song words; the bible reading; the sermon preached; and the prayers offered rang with joy and jubilee that Christ has in fact conquered death – He is risen again and He dwells among us. We’d lift our voices, hands, and arms in the air and offer a cry of praise to Jesus, who once and for all conquered the grave. We’d hug one another, rejoice with each another and I’d leave once again overwhelmed at the God who I serve and who calls me His child.
So today, on Easter Sunday, I am celebrating that Jesus is Risen, forgiveness is won, death is defeated and I am free. There is nothing better in this life, than to know for sure that I am right with God – thanks for Jesus’ sacrifice. On Easter Sunday, it’s easy to feel that my faith can allow me to conquer the world. But what about tomorrow?
Tomorrow comes and, for another year, the Easter calendar celebration is over, the ‘story’ is finished, and life goes back to normal.
But that isn’t it. There is so much more. Romans 8: 11 says
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.”
Really? Well yes, the bible says so. But I often forget it. Life, as I know it, resumes once the Easter Sunday celebrations are over, and I fall back into a routine that easily forgets that the same power that conquered the grave lives in me.
Surely that would be cause for more celebration – daily celebration – not apathy or an acceptance of the mundane? And yet it happens, eventually, year on year.
I forget that the God of the impossible, of the empty tomb and the risen Christ, dwells in me. That I have strength when I’m weak; reason to hope when it seems hopeless; and nothing to fear when all seems bleak. I shy away from things that seem too big for me, but which are always possible for God. I choose sin, and my own way, because it seems easier rather than call on His Spirit to help me stand strong. I deny Him, rather than proclaim Him; I hold grudges, rather than forgive. I would rather see things through my partial sight, than have eyes of faith. I quickly forget that, not only did Jesus die for me and rise again for me, but that through the Holy Spirit He lives in me and I am free.
I love Easter Sunday, I love the celebration. But I have more than enough reason to celebrate every day of my life because, thanks to the Easter Story, thanks to God’s plan and Jesus’ action, the same power that conquered the grave lives in me!