The celebration of Easter is absolutely central to the life of the church and to faithful Christians. Why? Without the new life of Christ touching every aspect of who we are and what we do, we are simply going through religious motions, playing religious games, and puffing a religious veneer over lives that are just like anyone else’s. To live lives touched by the Resurrection means many things, but I’d like you to think about these two:
• It means that we live unafraid of death and all that it brings with it. Many live in such a way that they will do ANYTHING to avoid pain, aging, illness and death. They go to extraordinary lengths to deny the inevitability of it, fooling only themselves and a few select others who are in on the game. We use drugs to lessen the impact of what’s coming, or we choose inappropriate and (ultimately) damaging lifestyles, or we try to fool ourselves into acting or looking (sort of) much younger than we are, or we are simply paralyzed by fear into a kind of stupor that keeps us from doing or being anything.
• It also means that we live free from sin’s power. This is exactly what we have been preaching from Paul’s letter to the Roman church these past few months. Has some-one done something to you that still controls your heart and mind? Have you done something that has clouded or affected your whole life? Have you taken a road of temptation that leads only to damage to you and others? Have you allowed prejudice or fear to warp your heart so that you cannot love and forgive?
• Easter isn’t just about eggs, bunnies, hollow chocolate Easter bunnies, and dressing up. It’s about the new life we have in Christ, in which we are set free to love, forgive and serve, and thereby find a sense of peace and joy in all that we do. By grabbing hold of the cross, we share in Jesus’ victory over sin, death and all that would destroy us.