Growing up in the church as a child, Easter Sunday never really seemed all that special to me, especially in comparison to Christmas.
To me, it seemed that Christmas held more emphasis on the Holy One of GOD – I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was my family or the church. Perhaps it was simply the thoughts that fill a young man’s fancy in the springtime are on things other than GOD and His holiness. Regardless, bottom-line is my heart was not given over to GOD. I did not have a good and reasonable understanding of what it meant to give one’s life over completely to the will and care of our Maker.
Since having sown many wild oats in my younger days, I now know what it is to come into a meaningful and loving relationship with the GOD of my understanding – particularly since recommitting my life to him back in the summer of ’99. Each Resurrection SON-day since that time, has held exponentially greater meaning and value to me – even more so than Christmas. For while Christmas celebrates that God sent His only Son to live among us, Resurrection Sunday holds the power and the glory upon which I gain strength to live each day in this world – with hope and expectation of “the new heaven and earth.”
For me, Easter is a celebration of the Day of Discovery – that day when Mary and the other women discovered an empty tomb. The day the disciples discovered they really didn’t have a clue as to the true nature of the *rabbi* they had been following for three years. Oh, some of them had moments of clarity, glimpses of truth with understanding. But as a whole, as a group, the twelve were full of sorrow and fear and dismay. They mourned the loss of their teacher. They feared that those who had so vehemently sought to destroy Jesus were soon going to be tearing at their flesh and drinking their blood as well. Most importantly, they were dismayed that their supposed Messiah had failed to deliver them from the hands of their conquerors. They had hoped that the freedom they would realize was from the bondage of the Roman Empire. They had yet to realize they had just been freed from their sin nature and delivered from the penalty of being “unclean” in the eyes of GOD.
Each time Holy Week comes around, I find an even greater appreciation for the grace and mercy of our GOD. Each year I realize how long I had been living on borrowed time – that is the time He has given me to come to know Him and to share the Good News of what coming to know Him really means, and that the value of such knowledge is beyond compare.
Each time I can’t help but wonder, is it that way for anyone else? How about you? Does each “Day of Discovery” bring about a greater realization of what it means to deny yourself and take up your cross, daily? Do you find yourself even more grateful than the year before? Do you have an even greater appreciation and understanding of GOD’s great love and how you are an integral part of His body – both on earth and in heaven? Do you find yourself wanting to tell more and more people about the awesome treasure you have discovered? Have you sold everything you own so you can buy the field where you found the pearl of great price? (Matthew 13:44-46)