I have always loved the Easter Egg hunt at St. Luke’s. It has been so enjoyable over the years to see the children gathering the eggs, enjoying the chocolate candy, and meeting the Easter Bunny. It is a fun part of the holiday weekend! But, while I love the day, it is Easter morning that feeds my soul. The Resurrection of Christ is an essential part of the Christian faith and fundamental to our beliefs. Three things to consider as you take time to connect more deeply with the message of Easter.
#1 TURN TO GOD
Jesus tried to tell the Disciples that He would be betrayed, suffer, die, then be raised from the dead on the third day (Luke 9:22), but they didn’t want to think or talk about it! They did not want to confront their fears or the unknown, so they were not prepared that night in the garden, when they chose to run away, scared, into the night. This issue of running from our fears is a tradition for people and still exists today. When we are afraid we don’t confront the important issues of life and we avoid instead of running to God. When we take our fears to God, He can replace them with peace and assurance.
#2 GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME
One of the lessons of Easter is about overcoming our fear through faith. Remember, faith is not a set of beliefs, but rather, the ability to trust in God’s constant love for you His child. Having faith is about embracing mystery. When you don’t understand or when you’re not in control and you still trust in God’s love for you; that is faith. Trusting God is good, all the time connects you with the truth that you no longer have to be afraid, not even of death.
When the Disciples discovered the tomb was empty, (John 20:8-10) the Bible tells us they believed, even though they didn’t fully understand and it was still a mystery. They began to trust Christ would lead them into the future, because they understood the truth that God is good, all the time.
#3 GRATITUDE THROUGH PAIN
Easter causes us to confront the fact and inevitability of death that we are going to die. Knowing this leads us to live our lives to the fullest, without living in fear because we trust that God is good.
The first time I experienced true grief was after the death of my best friend, Scott. He was only 34 years old with small children when he died. I used to call his wife, Julie every Monday, to visit and see how she was doing. To the world she looked like she was doing great, but when we talked she would tell me, “It’s so hard, I’m not doing well, I think I’m going to die.” I remember once she told me that she had been watching home movies when something strange happened. For the first time, she was filled with gratitude for all the memories, “It’s the strangest thing,” she said, “I grieved and I also felt such gratitude and felt better because I am grateful and I know that Scott is okay.”
When you stop to remember those you love who have entered the Kingdom of Heaven, there is, of course, sadness because you are separated from them, but it can also make you grateful for the love you shared. When I was younger I felt like it was important to have all of the details, but I don’t feel that way anymore. Knowing what it’s like is not so important. Trusting and having faith that it’s going to be good because God loves us, that is what truly matters.
Jesus assures us, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so would I have told you I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” – John 14:2
And that is the true message of Easter!