This Easter Is Different
I’m going to go out on a limb and say this has the potential to be the most amazing resurrection Sunday we’ve celebrated in our lifetime. It’s not because we’ve moved passed the scare of the coronavirus; it’s because normal life has been challenged, and we are desperate for a move of God.
If this crazy pandemic has left no other mark, it’s at least forced each of us to pause and take stock of what is important. Consider your reordered priorities for a moment. I doubt bunnies, colored eggs, and honey-glazed ham made the short list this spring. Those Reese’s peanut butter eggs have lost their appeal, and I’m no longer consumed with what I’ll be wearing on Easter morning. There will be no community egg hunt. No hubbub over baskets of hollow chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps. We’re skipping the big gathering for brunch and forgoing the reunion with cousins we’ve not seen all year. We aren’t going to Good Friday or sunrise services at our physical church buildings, and we’ve all given up more during Lent than we anticipated. Nothing is the same.
If this continues, I’ll likely be sitting on the sofa with my family, wearing stretchy pants, and watching church online. My children’s hair will be a mess, and they won’t be decked out in matching pastel button-ups. In fact, my youngest probably won’t wear a shirt at all. I may not take time to put on makeup, and it won’t matter. We won’t look “presentable” for Easter Sunday, but everything is different now.
And yet, I still contend this may be the most personal, most memorable celebration of the resurrected Christ for me. This Easter, stripped of many personal safeties and securities, some find themselves in a world flipped upside down, feeling a loss. Perhaps that’s the point.
Such was the atmosphere at the crucifixion. For the followers of Christ, their world was undone. Jesus had been killed and they grieved the loss of the teacher—until that glorious first day of the week when death was defeated. What a celebration!
Don’t be distracted this year by the world around you. We have much to celebrate! God is still good. Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sin. Through Christ, we have eternal life. His grace is available. He is still in control of all things. Sickness or no sickness, he holds the future in his hands. Despite what we can and cannot see, he remains the Master of the Unexpected. And he is worthy of all glory, honor, and praise. Everything else is incomparable.
Remember the resurrection of Christ and rejoice as you never have before! He is near. Lean into him this year. If you’re feeling a sense of loss, examine your heart for the root of your grief. Grieve for a sinful world, but don’t grieve the absence of our manmade traditions, for they hold no eternal value. We don’t need all the Easter “things.” Only Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. We need only him. Be filled with hope as we celebrate the risen King. Gather with the family living in your house. Praise him, humble your heart, and worship the Lord with gladness. If ever we needed this message, it’s now. He is risen. The world around us is different, but our God never changes.