When you think about Easter, what comes to your mind? The resurrection I would suppose. Same as me. But have you ever really thought about the resurrection of Christ and what it personally, intimately means for you? Have you ever really thought about the significance of the greatest event in human history, specifically, in regards to Christ’s love for you?
My work on an ambulance and with the fire department frequently takes me to hospitals, nursing homes, and private residences. On Sunday while working, I happened to go to a nursing home for a 911 call. I was reflecting on Easter and what it meant to me throughout my shift, which led me to observe how many various family members were visiting their loved ones in the nursing home. On a typical day, nursing homes are not that busy, by any means. I saw grandchildren dressed in their Easter dresses, button-up shirts and ties, bringing candy, flowers, and pictures they had drawn to their sick family members, starring at us as we zoomed by with the stretcher. Then I began to reflect on church services that go above and beyond to make this particular service ‘special’, sometimes holding multiple services, as well as families getting together for Easter lunch or dinner. I hear themes in sermons and Facebook and Twitter posts about the resurrection, but then I wonder, what specifically about the resurrection? What does it really mean for us on a personal level? Do we really, truly comprehend the significance of the resurrection in regards to us? I felt something was missing.
Sure, Christ died for our sins and conquered death for us, being that the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23), but theoretically speaking, is God conquering death really a miracle? I mean, He is God, is He not? I am not taking away from the significance of what Christ has done in His resurrection, but rather choosing to focus on the reason for the resurrection. It is easy for us to focus on Christ being in hell, conquering hades, taking the keys of hell and coming back to life, which is indeed extremely significant. But there has got to be more, since Christ’s resurrection is so much more than that! Then it hit me.
I believe the reason Easter is the most misunderstood holiday of the year is because Christ paid the price of death not only to raise himself up from the dead, but to raise someone else up from the dead with Him: You. We miss the intimate, personal context of the resurrection because we fail to understand that we too have been raised along with Christ in the resurrection and seated with Him in the heavenly realms!
Colossians 3:1 (NIV): Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Ephesians 2:6 (NIV): And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
To me, this is huge. Christ paid the price of death in being crucified that he would not only conquer death, but raise us up, in Him, as a new creation!
Romans 6:4 (NIV): We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
And this my friend, is why we are able to have relationship with God! Through our death in believing in Him, we are resurrected with Christ, with Christ exchanging our sins for His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), perfect and blameless (Colossians 1:22-23)! This means that God does not see you as a sinner, nor does he recognize your sin because all of your sins, past, present, and future, have been condemned and judged in the body of Christ (Romans 8:3) through His death. And now, through believing in Him, you are raised to life with Him as a new creation, free from the bondages of sin!
Next time Easter comes around, I know most will be praising God for the resurrection as will I be, but I am sure God will be celebrating, as He always does, us being a new creation, perfect and blameless through our resurrection with Christ. Next time Easter comes, make sure you understand what Christ paid that you would be resurrected a new creation in Him, able to have relationship with God. Maybe we should be celebrating baptisms on Easter, for this is exactly what it is symbolic of.
To me, Easter is a celebration of God’s perfect love for us, that He loves us so much that He would send His son to not only die, but to be resurrected and for us to be resurrected with Him so we could have relationship with Him. God did the unimaginable because of His simple desire to have relation with us, to love us, and for us to be loved by Him. Thank you Jesus!