Before I forget to say this, let me start this Update with a hearty Happy Resurrection Sunday!
I really do have to be careful, or else I’ll forget to mention stuff like that. It’s not that it’s not important -- it’s just that once a holiday is over, I’m off and running, thinking about what’s coming up the next Sunday. And that’s a shame, really.
But I don’t think I’m the only person who does that. Most of us probably engage in some sort of preparation, leading up to holidays like Christmas or Mother’s Day or Resurrection Sunday -- and then, once they’re over, we tend to shelve them in our minds and move on to the next thing that we have to plan for.
But remembering that God came to Earth to live like one of us wasn’t a one-time thing for Him, so it shouldn’t just be a Christmas thing for us. The women who gave us life and shaped our lives never thought about that as a once-a-year thing, so appreciating them shouldn’t just be a Mother’s Day thing for us. Jesus dying on the cross to wash us clean from sin (and rising from the dead to conquer the grave for all of us) didn’t just make a one-time difference in our lives, so celebrating that truth and living it out shouldn’t just be a Resurrection Sunday thing for us.
So I encourage you to remember the poignancy of Good Friday -- and the immensity of what Jesus did for us -- every day. Remember the joy and excitement of Resurrection Sunday -- and the immensity of what Jesus did for us -- every day. When you go to bed or when you get up, when you sit down or when you walk on your way, when you go to work or when you eat with your family -- take the time to remember what Christ has done and to engage with it... and encourage others to engage with it...
This weekend, we had a particularly poignant Good Friday service, and a phenomenally joyful Resurrection Sunday service (filled with Scripture, song, vignettes, remembrances of the Passover, and family meals of breakfast before the service and the Lord’s Supper within the service).
As I was talking with someone afterwards, it’s such a cathartic, life-changing thing to move from genuine poignancy on Friday to genuine exuberance on Sunday -- to let yourself feel the whole gamut of that weekend, as God intended for us to. To simply do the one without the other would be to wallow in the pain and anguish of Christ’s suffering, and to feel the full brunt of what your sins and my sins have done to this world without a release for that guilt. To do the other without the first would be no more than a vapid, emotional excitement about something spectacular that improved your own situation. But together, when you realize all that Christ did to win freedom and life and purity and genuine relationship for you and for me -- and to do it for us while you and I were still happily sinning -- ten our joy on Resurrection Sunday can be something truly transformational.
He is risen -- He is risen indeed.
You’ve been forgiven -- you’ve been forgiven indeed.
Those two simple facts should change you today. Not just last Friday or last Sunday, but today, and every day...