Easter is a time for friends and family. It’s a time of pastel colored eggs, pretty dresses, and wonderful food (including, but not limited to, delicious candy). It’s a time of celebration to be sure. How often, though, does this celebration become ritual or habit? How often do we take for granted the significance of this holiday?
As a preacher’s kid, Easter was the same every year. Wake up before the sun to put on my frilly dress that I was too tired to fight against, sing hymns at the sunrise service, perform songs or skits for the other two or three services that morning, and follow it with a well-earned nap. No matter how well my parents explained what Easter was about, no matter how many of my dad’s Easter sermons I sat through, in my young mind Easter was something that was performed. It was not something that was necessarily celebrated or had any immediate application.
In actuality, Jesus’ death and resurrection was an incredible act of omnipotence, mercy, and love. Jesus’ death and resurrection is a gift that saves and justifies. Jesus’ death and resurrection is worth more than any praise we could offer up in celebration. It is worth immediate action and application.
“Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.” Romans 6:5-8 NLT
This year I had the privilege to witness one of my grade 5 students act on this perfect gift by becoming united with Christ through baptism on Easter day. As we celebrated Jesus’ death and resurrection on Earth, there was a celebration in heaven over the faithful response of this child. Easter is a time for celebration. Easter is a time for action.