I hope that your Easter 2021 was much, much different (better) than Easter 2020. To be honest, because of the uncertainty that was “swirling” around us, and the restrictions that we were trying to adjust to, last Easter was very, very difficult. Despite the significant meaning of the day, the absence of family and friends, Easter didn’t “feel” like, Easter. So, I genuinely hope that this year, you had an absolutely fantastic Easter!
But here’s some questions you and I need to think about: Now that Easter is behind us, what will you do with Easter Sunday? What difference will Easter make when that particular sin again tempts me and I feel weak and unable to reject the temptation? What difference will Easter make when someone betrays me and the thought of vengeance enters my mind? What difference will Easter make when I’m lying in bed at night, wondering how I’ll be able to face the challenges and struggles of another day?
I’m absolutely captivated and overwhelmed by the reality of Jesus’ empty tomb. Four years ago, I was blessed to personally kneel inside that tomb. Almost instantly, I was overwhelmed by awe and joy of realizing that the lifeless body of Jesus that once occupied that shelf where the dead would be placed, has been empty since that first Easter Sunday. I remember trying to envision the incredible scene that took place there, when Jesus came back to life. I thought about what John and Peter must have seen when they looked inside that first Easter, only to see the empty grave clothes. I thought about how Mary Magdalene must have wept for joy when the resurrected Jesus called her by name. Even today, I marvel at having been there.
But I also have to admit that as exciting as Easter is, as time passes, I struggle to remember that the meaning of Easter, the power of Easter, the hope of Easter, isn’t limited to a single day, each year. Instead of The Resurrection being an annual holiday or simply a historical event, the reality of The Resurrection does several things for us, daily. I think that’s what Paul had in mind as he, under the direction of The Holy Spirit, wrote 1st Corinthians 15:58: “So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, knowing that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
Because of The Resurrection, we can be, “strong and immovable,” even when we experience the inevitable, unpredictable, and difficult realities of life in a fallen and broken world.
Because of The Resurrection, we should, “work enthusiastically for the Lord,” furthering the work that Jesus began and commissioned us to accomplish by investing our days, time, spiritual gifts, and abilities in the lives of others.
Because of The Resurrection, we can live with the assurance that Jesus is again coming and that everything we do for Him will be rewarded and is never, “useless”.
Faron Rogers serves as the Senior Pastor of Clinton’s First Baptist Church