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Without Easter, Where’d We Be?

April 14, 2014

Once again, we are getting ready for Easter: the main celebration of the Christian church! Well, it should be, anyway. If it has sometimes been eclipsed by Christmas, the fact remains: Easter may be impossible without Christmas, but Christmas is pointless without Easter.

It should be quite obvious to anyone that the whole of Christianity stands and falls with Easter. Jesus is the centre, the focal point, of our faith; but not just as a good example (he said some rather upsetting things to people), not just as a good moral teacher (again, who could actually live up to his ideals?), but as the perfect sacrifice for our sins and shortcomings. Christianity is all about forgiveness, restoration, reconciliation, redemption – concepts that the world sometimes is interested in, sometimes prefer to ignore, but that are key both for our relationship with God, and for getting on with each other.

So in that way, maybe Easter does set an example: God was prepared to take our shame and guilt, not insisting on getting his right but sacrificing himself in love. He took the first step towards reconciliation, even while we were still hostile to him. Shouldn’t we be prepared to do the same, in the name of Jesus, when we are embroiled in conflicts or relationship issues? If our Lord didn’t insist on getting his rights and having things his way, shouldn’t we be prepared to follow in his footsteps?

Especially if you look at what came of it: resurrection and a renewed relationship with God our Father and Creator! The Easter message is sadly truncated – not to say invalid – if we don’t include the empty tomb. Without the resurrection, our faith is pointless and we are to be pitied more than all people (1 Cor 15:12-19). But fear not! After Jesus died in our place, he rose again in victory: demonstrating once and for all that God’s love is stronger than our enmity; that God’s holiness can overcome our sinfulness; that eternal life is stronger than death. That’s a message we all need, and that the world needs. There is hope, because Jesus rose from the dead.

So as we celebrate Easter this year, let’s do it joyfully and publicly: Tell the world that Jesus is risen! Because if we don’t, we don’t really have anything else to say.

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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