Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Real Story of Easter

Ham, turkey, chicken and dressing. Cheese and macaroni, green bean casserole, and rolls. New dresses, shoes, slacks and shirts. Plastic eggs filled with Reese’s peanut butter cups, chocolate bunnies; pink, yellow and blue Peeps. Family gatherings, or spring-time outings. All of these are contemporary accoutrements of Easter.

Last week I walked through a mall and found that a life-sized bunny had taken Santa Clause’s place. Children were placed on his lap while a photographer tried to coax smiles that would find there ways to primary places on countless family photo walls. But it seemed most children actually cried when approaching the furry friend.

It seems that every year I hear conversations about commercialization of Christmas. Seldom do I hear the same voiced about Easter. This central event in the story of Christianity merits more than bunnies, baskets, and big meals.

No time in the year provides better opportunity for followers of Christ to communicate the essence of faith than Easter. The death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and especially the resurrection, separate Christianity from any other faith. The superiority of Christ’s death and resurrection reveals the wisdom of God, who remained just but also graciously became the justifier of all who believe in Him. Sin’s debt was paid by one who never sinned. Justice was served and justification given as a gift of grace.

Equally, the Easter celebration reminds all believers that the One who suffered also became the mighty conqueror. Death could not hold Him. In resurrection glory, He not only made Himself alive again, but He also delivered all of us who were held in death’s grip. He led a host of captives to freedom…reminding forever that His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom.

Easter is a harbinger of the hope that is still to come. Jesus is alive. Because He lives…so shall all followers of King Jesus. Death has lost its sting because Jesus has overcome!

That is the real story of Easter. And it is so much more than fake grass and plastic eggs. It is life.

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