Why I Need Easter
If I were to rank my holidays, Christmas would be number one. I love Christmas. The lights, the gifts, the time with family, the cold air, the warm drinks, the theological significance…
I love Christmas. And that last point, theological significance, is why Easter is a close second. (And possibly tied for first.)
The incarnation of Christ (Christmas) is what makes Christianity so beautiful. Our God is not distant. He came to be one of us. He came as a plain old middle eastern guy. He experienced the same pains, heartaches, and annoyances we did. He stubbed his toe, stepped on whatever the ancient equivalent of a Lego is, and had the same awkward social encounters.
He lived on this earth for about 33 years. And at the end, he gave up his life.
He lowered himself to be one us, experienced life like we do, and then he died for us, and rose again (Easter).
I’m a terrible human being. Because of that, I have a hard time internalizing forgiveness and hope. Intellectually, I know Jesus did this. I’ve looked into the evidence. And I know why he did this. I’ve studied soteriology. But because I have a job, hobbies, a life, an oft-distracting phone, I forget. I lose track of the joy and comfort that truth brings.
What holidays like Easter do is help remind me of the truth of my status with God. It gives me an opportunity to remember, “You know what, Josh? Even though you’re a terrible person, God loves you. He died for you. Those things you’ve done, they’ve been wiped away. The shame, the guilt, the stress can go. You’re free. And after that, he rose again. So you have hope.”
That goodness is what makes the Christian life Christian. We’re a different people, because we serve a different God. A God who changed the trajectory of death, by defeating it. And made a way for us to be free from the muck of our sin.
I need that reminder. I need Easter.
And I need to build Easter into my life daily. Once a year is good. It’s an important time to experience that reminder with community, in the flow of the year. But the reminder needs to happen daily.
And when it begins to happen daily, maybe I’ll stop forgetting. Maybe, eventually, and with God’s help, I’ll internalize the goodness of what he’s done. Maybe it will sink to the depths of who I am, and permeate my thoughts and behavior.
I pray that it does. And I pray it does for you too.
We all need Easter.