With so much turmoil in the world and the unrest in our country, Easter Sunday reminds us of the hope we have for things to come.
It’s not about the eggs and the bunnies. In today’s world, it’s easy to think that it is, especially with so many churches even offering egg hunts. As Christians and even in our churches, we have brought the world into our lives. Something we were not meant to do. We are to live in the world but not become conformed to it.
Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
No, I am not condemning churches for holding Easter egg hunts but we need to ask ourselves, how is that furthering the kingdom of God or bringing God glory? And what message are we sending when we do the same thing as the world? Many people don’t link Easter with Christ’s resurrection because of the commercialization even though it is one of the days more people attend church. They sit and listen but it doesn’t penetrate to their heart. They leave church feeling they have done their duty by attending on Easter Sunday, getting just enough “religion” to prevent them from going all in and actually catching it.
We have gotten so far away from how God meant for things to be done as we conform to the world and actually seem to love worldly things more than we love God. 1 John 2:15: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
This year we have decided to hold an Easter sunrise service in the gazebo at the pond for the family. We want to express why we celebrate Easter and to let that reason be first and foremost about Jesus’ resurrection and what that means to and for us.
The Easter story is one of forgiveness, love and victory over death which gives us eternal life. God loved us so much, He gave His only son to die for our sins and his triumph over the grave provides us hope if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
We have hope that we can overcome all the craziness that we are experiencing in the world right now. That hope starts with prayer. Prayer is a powerful weapon against any enemy. The resurrection gives us confidence and courage to be bold in Christ, to love unconditionally, to always strive for peace and to live our lives in love.
The world “Easter” does not appear in the Bible. It was a tradition, like Christmas, which developed later in church history. And you can debate the actual date and when it fell, etc. until you are blue in the face but that is not what is important. That it happened is a major point.
Crucifixion was a very brutal and tortuous death. Christ’s hands were outstretched against the cross and nailed through the two bones in each wrist. I wince at the thought, especially after having two broken wrists. The nails going through the flesh would strike the nerve running up the arm which would cause excruciating pain.
Hanging this way for a period of time, your muscles around the chest cavity will began to be paralyzed. You could breathe in but you wouldn’t be able to breathe out. Simple suffocation? No, because the Romans didn’t want to make it simple or easy. They bent a person’s knees and nailed their feet to the cross. So a person hanging on a cross would be in total agony until the pain in the chest was about to explode and they would lift themselves up on nailed feet to get a breath of air, then fall back down again until another breath was needed. To hasten the death by suffocation, soldiers eventually broke the legs of the person on the cross.
They didn’t break Jesus’ legs, because He died before that was necessary but to make sure they stuck a spear in His side and blood and water spewed out. Doctors say this only happens if the heart rips, so we could say He died of a broken heart.
We deserved punishment for our sins but Christ took our place and paid for our sins. Something only He could do. While you may be saying you know the Easter story, we must remember it’s not a memorial to a nice teacher but a celebration that He not only arose, but is alive today.
In one sense, He’s still on trial with those who have yet to acknowledge Him.
We serve a risen Savior and his resurrection proved He was the Son of God. Yet, today many question whether He is who He says He is. Even if we do believe He is, then why don’t we follow what He asks us to do with our lives? Each of us, like Pilate, must decide “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called the Christ?”
If you haven’t made that decision yet, it’s time you chose who you will serve. Your eternal life depends upon it.
Wishing you all the blessings of this Easter season. He’s alive!©2016
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org