Easter Sunday in Wisconsin was blustery, rainy, and then, snowy! I’ve heard a number of people wishing each other a “Merry Easter!” this year. I have a lot of Christmas song titles bouncing around my head: “I’m Dreaming of a White Easter”, “Frosty the Easter Bunny” …
I do hope you had a Merry Easter! However, I think we are all aware that this Easter did not feel so merry to many people. For many who are grieving, isolated, ill, unemployed, or facing other serious hardships, this was probably one of the toughest Easters they’ve experienced.
If you are going through such hardships this Spring, I hope and pray that you can lean on Jesus as He shepherds you through this valley.
Easter follows the somber season of Lent. For me as a pastor, Lent is usually a very “full” time, especially with preparing for additional midweek services and for Holy Week. Feeling a little worn out, my Easter Sunday included a nap on the couch as my kids watched The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. (Faun Tumnus’ music lulled me off to sleep.)
Part of me feels like I “made it through Easter” – as if Easter is just a holiday which is now over and done! But what if Easter has only just begun?
For starters, Easter is not only a day but a season. Easter season continues until the end of May this year when the season of Pentecost begins. And as I shared last week, every Sunday is a “mini Easter celebration.” For nearly 2,000 years, Christians have gathered on the first day of every week, worshipping our risen Jesus, hearing His voice, and responding to Him with both joyful praises and also the prayers and concerns of our hearts and lives.
But the impact of Easter goes far beyond a season or a day of the week! Easter is your future, your eternity in Christ!
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
You shall be like the Risen Jesus! Easter is just getting started for all who trust Jesus. Through your Brother, Jesus, you are God’s child – right now! And when Jesus reappears and resurrects the dead and restores all things on the Last Day, you shall be like Him – raised in an imperishable, immortal way, as Jesus was at dawn on the third day.
“We shall bear the image of the Man of Heaven” says St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:49. The image of God will be fully restored in all of Christ’s people. Both physically and spiritually, your whole being will be changed in the twinkling of an eye! (1 Cor. 15:51-52) In short, you have God’s own promise that you will be like His risen Son!
That’s great for the future, but what about now? St. Paul closes his Resurrection Chapter with this shot of confidence for all Christ’s Easter People: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:58 NIV)
We live and labor for Jesus today in the sure and certain expectation of an eternal Easter with Him and those we love who have died in Christ.
Because Jesus lives, “you also will live”! (John 14:19)
Merry Easter indeed!