The Subversive Message of Easter

This is our pastor’s newsletter article for the April edition of our newsletter.

 

Unlike Christmas, when did Easter stress you out like crazy?  Though eggs, a bunny, and pastel colors are part of celebrating Easter in our society, a risen Jesus isn’t.  Strange.  For an over-commercialized Christmas still retains a vestige of its original meaning, with baby Jesus lying in a manger.  Not so for Easter.

Tell me why.  Perhaps, an insubordinate religious message weaves itself into the season—Christ rose from the depths of death.  For we live in a culture spouting nonsense like, “the body is but a shell,” when someone dies.  Well if true, why did Jesus bother rising from the tomb?

The entire Christian faith dies and rises based on Jesus’ resurrection, not the soul in heaven bereft of its body.  For if “Christ did not rise, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14).  So, don’t think the Lord’s resurrection, and your resurrection to come, aren’t a huge deal.  To live your life with such thinking is to belittle your Savior and the eternity He plans for you.

The Christmas story is non-threatening to most nonbelievers.  “Oh, such a cute baby sleeping in the manger!”  By contrast, dark is the other side of Easter.  For a person to rise tells the world he also earlier died.  Without the previous cross-filled Friday, the brightness of Easter is empty of context.  Still, an uneasiness surrounds Easter because if Jesus needed to rise, he also needed to die.

What difference does Easter make in the life of the Christian?  The Easter message, when absorbed into your being, is radical, subversive, and life-changing.  A risen-from-death Jesus reveals nothing is impossible with God.  For life conquers death because Christ overcame death.  To do this required a resurrection because Jesus became a physical being of flesh, muscle, blood, and sinew.

The risen Lord love triumphs over hatred and His hope defeats our despair.  For sin and death are the causes of these breakdowns in our lives.  Most of all, Easter cries out into all creation, “Jesus Christ is Lord because our eternal death is no more.”  The resurrection is the central Christian belief.

Secular newspapers don’t print such news.  Devoid of resurrection power, Christianity will turn into a milder form of Phariseeism.  Not eternal deliverance, but one way among many others to become a better person toward others.

Consider—if Jesus is Lord, and if you’re a Christian, what He says lays claim to you.  In Him, you are forgiven and restored, not only in soul but also in the body.  In His resurrection, He proves salvation is physical, because He is to this day, still incarnate.

So, using physical matter, He delivers His physical salvation to you, using water, wine, and bread.  All this points forward to your salvation, which isn’t only for your soul for the rest of eternity.  For if Jesus came to save your spirit, and nothing more, He didn’t need to bother becoming human.  Like He used the physical to rescue you on the cross, He also uses what is physical to deliver His redemption to you.

So, He comes to give You Himself in His Supper—His body and blood.  Now, every Lord’s Supper becomes a meal, proclaiming His death as we wait for His return!  For both are physical events.  The Apostle Paul writes, “As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).  On the Last Day, at His return, He will raise a sinless, perfect body to reunite with your soul.

So, our culture does a sleight-of-hand trick, a bait-and-switch.  Out hop the bunnies, eggs, and muted colors.  Forgotten is the real message, something still wild and untamable.  By walking out of the grave on Easter, Jesus declares something life-changing, revolutionary, and something unable to be overcome by commercialism.  The Resurrection reveals He is the power of life over death.

He is risen!  Christ is risen, indeed.  Alleluia!

 

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