Last weekend my family got together with some friends for a group reading of the gospel of Mark. I had never done anything like that before, so it was a new and amazing experience. There’s something undeniably moving and enthralling about taking in the entire story of Jesus’ earthly life in one sitting, especially being involved in reading it and hearing it read out loud among other brothers and sisters in Christ.
It left me with a fresh perspective of the significance of Easter and put me in a positive and anticipatory mood for the upcoming Easter weekend and the Passion week we are currently in.
And it makes me wonder why we don’t give it a serious month or two to celebrate it like we do for Christmas, because Easter is so much grander in scope than any other holiday, even Christmas. Easter is the culmination of what took place in that stable in Bethlehem and everything that came afterwards, the culmination of the greatest life ever lived.
You know how during Christmas time you’re attempting to keep things in perspective and remember the real reason we celebrate it? And sometimes it’s hard to keep your focus on why Jesus was born and what’s to come in the future of His timeline.
Well, now we are there, in the future, and this is it! This week and upcoming Sunday, and what they signify, is the ultimate reason for Christmas.
Next time Christmas rolls around, remember what you celebrate at Easter and keep your focus on this purpose. Jesus came to earth at Christmas for the ultimate purpose of Easter. You can’t just pick one or the other to celebrate–they both work together as parts of Jesus’ human life: the means of His coming and the reason for His coming. His life all boiled down to one overarching truth: to make the Father known to us and to prove the power and efficacy of His salvation by the crucifixion and the resurrection.
This sequence of events brings us the entire meaning and purpose for living as a Christian. Without Jesus’ triumph over death, our faith is worthless and foolish.
As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. . . . For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (v. 13-14,16-20, ESV)
I encourage you as you finish out this week and enter the new to let this amazing truth become real to you; let it fill your heart and life and become the driving force of your entire existence.
Jesus is not dead anymore; and that same power that raised Him back to life now lives in us who believe (Ephesians 1:19-20).
If you need a little extra something to help the significance of Easter come alive for you, then maybe you should try a full read-through of one of the four gospels. It doesn’t have to be a group reading like I participated in, and it doesn’t take an entire afternoon to complete. Just dedicate a couple of undistracted hours to your own personal and focused reading of a gospel. Or listen to an audio version of a gospel. Either way, let the full story of Jesus saturate your mind and its significance will come alive in your heart, possibly more than ever before.
And once that truth fills your whole being, don’t keep it to yourself. Let it out to the world around you! Let everyone know that Christ has risen from the dead.
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