Life is full of resurrections.
Weird word, right? But seriously, in the springtime it’s not hard to picture. Every spring, all the world is reborn from the cold and death of winter. And the seasons mimic the way our lives work too.
So Easter is a good fit for spring – death giving way to life is worth celebrating, isn’t it?
Then again, maybe not, according to our Western society. As time goes on, more and more of our population cites no religious affiliation at all. And culturally, there is a growing aversion to anything that points to organized spirituality.
So if the world is changing that much…Does Easter still matter?
Easter still matters because Jesus still matters.
Provocative statement, I know.
But Jesus is still wildly important in today’s world.
Sure, he was an amazing teacher. But more than honoring Jesus’ wise teachings and miracles, Easter commemorates Jesus’ death on the cross for the sins of the world (Good Friday) and his resurrection from the dead on the third day (Resurrection Sunday).
In 2013, Time magazine ranked the 100 Most Significant Figures in History. Guess where Jesus was on that list? You guessed it…he was number 1, ahead of Napoleon, Muhammad and Shakespeare.
Realistically, with almost 2.5 billion followers (almost 30 percent of the current world’s population!) some two thousand years after his death and resurrection, it’s impossible to say that Jesus doesn’t matter.
So…Why does Jesus still matter? I’m so glad you asked.
Easter (and Jesus) still matter because people will always need forgiveness.
Have you ever felt guilt for something you’ve done? Or even shame? I know I have.
Whether we like to admit it or not, all of us are flawed. Sure, we have our limitations, but what I’m talking about is more than that. We are fundamentally faulty.
We let people down. We wish people would fail. We get frustrated with people. We even destroy relationships.
But what do we do with this understanding of our fallenness?
We seek forgiveness.
More often than not, we try to do something so good it “cancels out” whatever wrong we’ve done. Overworked spouses justify their lack of attention to their partner though the “forgiveness” of financial provision. Or we choose to lie so we don’t have to admit our failures. Or our Easter candy-eating binge is followed by an extra intense time at the gym. And the beat goes on.
But that’s why Easter gives us an infinitely better way. When we receive Jesus’ forgiveness, he welcomes us into a whole new way of life where we’re freed from the cycle of constantly looking for ways to make up for the ways we’ve let down others or ourselves.
Jesus is as relevant today as he was 2000+ years ago, because he offers forgiveness to all who trust and believe in him.
Easter is that invitation to be forgiven, and to have the weight lifted off our shoulders.
Easter still matters because hope depends on it.
Easter matters because Easter is all about hope. And everyone needs hope.
One time I was watching one of those Discovery Channel nature shows about predatory animals. As I watched a lion chasing down a buffalo, I remember thinking, “How can a person have hope when this is what nature does?” Later in my life after I lost my mom at age 20, I thought, “How can I have hope after my mother passed away from cancer when she was only 49 years old?”
And as life has gone on I’ve thought, “How can I really have hope in a world of terrorism, extremism and the perpetual anxiety of potential heartaches that are lurking around every corner?” Because you know what? The data doesn’t add up. It doesn’t make much sense to have hope in this world.
But then I remember Easter. I have found the finished work of Jesus – his death and resurrection – is what hope truly depends on.The finished work of Jesus – his death and resurrection – is what hope truly depends on. Click To Tweet
Life isn’t just a random set of experiences with no rhyme or reason, but a unique story that is held in the hands of a loving and just God. Easter reminds me that God’s story of redemption didn’t end with Jesus’ death – but with his resurrection! Because I know who God is, no matter what happens, I can expect that even in the circumstances that feel like death – seasons of loss and suffering – new life is coming. With Jesus, so many of the places in our lives that feel like the dead of winter right now are “compost” – the fertile ground through which God wants to bring forth new life, as we trust him.