Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter’s Over, Now What?

We returned from a trip out of town to discover a different kind of “Easter egg” for the holiday weekend. In our absence, a mama bird had assembled a nest in a holly bush in front of our house and deposited three little eggs in it. Since then she has been diligently hovering over the eggs, waiting for them to bring forth new life.

This got me thinking about the Easter holiday and what it ultimately means. The Easter bunny has retreated to its rabbit hole, wherever that is. Easter eggs have been gathered. Traditional Easter dinners (ours is ham and potato salad, plus extras) have been consumed. Jellybeans are fast disappearing. So should we just forget about Easter until next year?

I don’t think so. In fact, for followers of Jesus, every day should be a celebration – and manifestation – of Easter. Because the resurrection of Christ means not only the forgiveness of sins and the promise of life after death, but the provision of new life…before death.

As I’ve mentioned before, Oswald Chambers is one of my favorite writers and I regard him as an old friend – even though he died in 1917. His words in My Utmost for His Highest, his revered devotional book, often speak unvarnished truth. His April 8 entry nails the significance of Easter:

“(Christ’s) resurrection means He has the power to convey His life to me. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord Jesus Himself…. His resurrection means…that we are raised to His risen life, not our old life…we can know here and now the power and effectiveness  of His resurrection and can ‘walk in newness of life’ (Romans 6:4).”

Just as those tiny bird eggs are poised to produce new life just outside the door, “(Christ’s) Spirit can work the very nature of Jesus into us, if we will only obey Him,” Chambers points out. Or as Galatians 2:20 asserts, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

So while the Easter bunny, eggs and jellybeans are fading memories, the life-changing impact of Easter – Christ’s resurrection – can be an everyday reality for each one of us. And that, I believe, is worth a hallelujah!

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