“Christ, the Lord, is risen! Christ, the Lord, is risen, indeed!”
It is all too fitting that this month of Easter begins with the climax of Holy Week. April begins with Maundy Thursday, April 1, and the recollection of Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples, one of whom would soon betray Him. The other disciples would then abandon Jesus when he is arrested. All of this took place against the backdrop of the command Jesus gave that night around the supper table,
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Good Friday is next, with Jesus’ brutal overnight trial, while Peter denies Him three times. It all leads Jesus to Calvary, where He is crucified for you and me, and for the world, because that is how much God loves us all. That is how much Jesus loved us way back then and loves us still today!
It is the Power of all this love that burst Jesus from His tomb on that first Easter! Ultimately, sin and death are no match for the Love of the Living God! Jesus shows this with His Victory over the grave!
We have this same Victory, by the Grace of our Living, Loving God, to experience today and every day! Victory is there for us daily, even though we still sin and fall short daily of God’s Glory (Romans 3:23). This Victory is there for us to experience every day especially because of our wrestle with sin.
Our humble repentance becomes the springboard for our experience of Easter! It confesses our sin, seeks God’s Grace, and recommits to Jesus’ Way, Truth, and Life! The Easter that follows is Awesome! The Easter that follows is REAL! Jesus Saves us right where we are, in the very midst of our very real lives! As we move back and forth from faithfulness and our wrestle with sin, our walk with Jesus continuously cleanses us and redeems us and grows us and equips us and empowers us for our discipleship, our service, and our ministry!
Easter does not happen without our first experiencing the impact of sin! … just like Jesus could not Rise on Easter without first hanging on His cross! Easter begins with repentance and confession … continues with God’s Amazing Grace … and sees itself through with the impacts of all this Grace!
And through it all, Easter becomes real, and remains real, as we experience its fruit! … because we are living it every day! May you and I experience and share a rich and real Easter with those we love! And may we as a church, experience and share a rich and real Easter with our neighbors everywhere!