If you are a Christian, I can guarantee you’ve heard the phrase before, “Easter is like our Super Bowl!” This is neither the space nor the place to discuss reverence, American nationalism, or if in fact, the two events actually have anything in common. But what is undeniable is the general sentiment that comes along with the statement being true: Easter is a big deal to Christians.
But is it?
I promise this post will not go as deep theologically or change your life as philosophically as it might sound like it is shaping up to do. What I hope this post accomplishes is a reminder that if Easter truly is the biggest event (Sunday) of our Christian faith, shouldn’t we have a living awareness of it beyond just a single day?
Again, if you’re looking for personal commentary, suggested additions to, or encouraged subtractions from the existing liturgical calendar you will be disappointed. Read with me just a little longer for suggestions on how we (you and I ) can engage in these practical ways to re-focus on Christ during this Easter season.
Think of Jesus Physically
Jesus was literally a person. Granted, He was the most unique human in the history of humans. But 100% human, nonetheless. While He was also 100% God. It is the beautiful theological principle known as hypostatic union – fully human, fully God, same time same place. During the Easter season it is easy to catch myself thinking primarily of the holy divinity of Jesus as God and completely forget He was a literal man, just like me and you (though not female – He was a literal person, like you if you are a female reader). This means He was definitely tempted to sin and daily messed with by Satan just like you and me. Hebrew 4:15 tells us, [He was]…”one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
The truth of Jesus’s temporary, but fully and complete humanity should cause us to worship with all the more depth and amazement. This Easter, don’t forget to remember that by Christ being fully human He was committing to live a life that no one else could live, to die a death that no one else could die so we might have salvation.
In Matthew 27:27 and other places in the Synoptic Gospels, the mockery and mistreatment of Jesus is described. Though my life is nothing on this scale of suffering, I’ve committed this time leading up to Easter to look for little prompts that would take my mind back to the sacrificial love of Jesus for me. For example, tonight, as I do every Saturday night, I shaved my face before going to church in the morning church. As I watched the water rinse the hair off the blade, I think about how the soldiers must have pulled the hair of His beard and yanked the hair of His head. When my eight-month-old accidentally sneezes on me or drools on me, I think of the gathered battalion who took turns spitting on and defiling Jesus. All for me. All for you. If you repent and believe.
Think of God Sovereignly
As you may have seen me push on Twitter recently, Andrew Peterson (one of my favorite artists) just released an album for Lent called Resurrection Letters. On that album is a song titled, “God Rested”. Perhaps there are no better lyrics to sum up my point than these:
They buried all the dreams about the Kingdom He portrayed
They sealed Him in the grave
As a holy silence fell on all Jerusalem
Pharisees were restless
Pilot had no peace
Peter’s heart was reckless
Mary couldn’t sleep
But God rested…
From the moment Adam and Eve, representing all mankind, took and ate from the Tree of Good & Evil, God knew there would be a moment for a mission to send a Rescuer to restore His creation back into right relationship with Him. That moment? Easter. That mission? The cross.That Rescuer? Jesus. Though Jesus (understandably) asked the Heavenly Father for the salvation of His people and the glory of His name be found by any other way than through this death, He still went to cross with confidence in His Father. God wasn’t in heaven wringing His hands on the edge of His seat during Easter. Because of His immeasurable love and infinite sovereignty God rested in the plan of redemption.
What about me? What about you? During this season more than any other, we should have confidence in the will of the Father. One of the first verse I ever memorized, Matthew 6:8 “The Father knows what you need even before you ask it.” So this Easter season whenever you find yourself anxious and stressed, doubting and unsure – remember that Jesus trusted the sovereignty (the all-knowing nature of God) …even unto death on the cross.
The of the Holy Spirit Often
In John 14 & 16 Jesus speaks of the purpose and power of the Holy Spirit. As I’ve previously mentioned, this can be an easily misunderstood Person of the Trinity. But with further study of the aforementioned chapters, you’ll come to understand, love, and know the Holy Spirit in fresh new ways. Now reference Easter, the Holy Spirit is the life altering companion that comes to who believe (think Acts 2).
So rather than ignore the Holy Spirit as “not necessarily a part of the whole Easter thing”, I think on how the Holy Spirit actual is (in many ways) an incredible, direct byproduct of Easter. It wasn’t until Jesus went to the Father that we would even be gifted such an incredible and powerful companion. So this season, every time I do something that requires physical strength I remember to pray a prayer of gratitude for Jesus’s death and the gift of the Holy Spirit who gives me spiritual strength. Laying heavy bags of mulch? Lifting a heavy box? Opening a sticky glass-jar lid for your wife? Take those triggers as a chance to stop and thank God for the Holy Spirit’s power in your life…and power that is obviously for more than just getting to those pickles!
Post in a nutshell? Let’s not be Christians guilty of only thinking about Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit for a few hours on Easter morning. Let’s take every opportunity this season to deepen our relationship with Him and
live with hourly gratitude.