Saturday, March 26, 2005

Easter Is My Favorite Day of the Year

I've just decided that Easter is my favorite day of the year. I've been looking forward to celebrating the resurrection (and thereby, I have been celebrating it) for weeks now. I don't remember anticipating even Christmas this much when I was a little kid.

So I asked myself, "Why is Easter so special this year?" I can come up with two answers. The first is that I am so much more in tune with the aches and pains of life this year. Pain, sickness, sorrow, death: these have hit very close to home in the last few months. My heart breaks as I think about life in a fallen world. And so my heart sings as I anticipate and celebrate the life that the Resurrection has brought about.

Secondly, and going along with this, I am so much more aware of what the resurrection of Christ has actually accomplished for us. Christ's resurrection life, and my participation in that resurrection life, holds forth so much more promise for me than it ever did before. It changes my present outlook, it imbues my life with hope, it blesses me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm.

Literally every element of the Christian hope rests upon what we are celebrating tomorrow morning. Let us endeavor to know more and more exactly what this hope entails, so that we will be steadfast, immovable and full of life, and let us celebrate Resurrection Day every day of the year!

"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death ...

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

(1 Corinthians 15:17-26, 51-58 )

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