An Easter to Forget?
As you have probably gathered by now, this Easter will be different than any we have ever experienced in our lifetimes. With restrictions on the size of groups, and the need for social distancing, our normal routines of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus will undoubtedly look somewhat different this year. So the question begs itself: what are we to do about Easter?
For believers we should know the answer, but sometimes need a gentle reminder. This time of year has never truly been about our special worship services, family gatherings, new Easter outfits, and certainly not about rabbits and candy. In the last 2000 years, Easter has actually not changed, and it will not this year either. While our normal routines have been adjusted, maybe what the Lord is affording us is an opportunity to refocus on what should have our attention in the first place. So what should have our attention this Easter? Notice what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:7-10.
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” - Philippians 3:7-10
In this text, Paul is describing what he now considers to be gain and loss. What he once considered to be a loss, he now considers to be a gain. He now considers his greatest gain to be Christ himself, to know the power of his resurrection, and to share in his sufferings. It could very well be that this is what the Lord is giving us this Easter, as he has for 2000 years. A renewed focus on what truly matters, to be conformed through his sufferings and to rely on the power of his resurrection.
When we find ourselves in a season of uncertainty, it can be hard to believe this. I’m reminded of Jesus’ interaction with Martha, when he arrived in Bethany to find Lazarus had succumbed to his illness and had already been buried. Martha exclaimed to Christ “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would have not died.” Notice Jesus’ words in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”. Of course, Martha responded with a resounding YES! Maybe that’s what the Lord is doing for us right now, in this unusual Easter. It could be that once again he is giving us an opportunity to have renewed faith, much like Martha. We do believe in the power of his resurrection! And because he has revealed this to us, no amount of uncertainty can change this important and powerful truth. While we will not be celebrating with new outfits and our normal gatherings this year, what we can do is celebrate his resurrection with renewed faith and hopeful expectation. After all is said and done, this should be an Easter to remember, and to never forget!