Sunday is a banner day for Christians. Sunday we celebrate Easter. We celebrate the fact that Jesus is risen from the dead. We celebrate a faith that centers around life and hope rather than death and despair.
Let's not get caught up in the pagan easter bunny/easter egg/Ishtar stuff. Let's not get caught up in a discussion about the evidences pointing the truth of the resurrection.
Rather, let's just celebrate that we serve a risen savior. Can we do that?
I believe that Jesus is alive. I believe that He died on a cross to not only pay the price for sin but to become sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. I believe that He arose from the dead victoriously with power over death, Hell, and the grave. I believe that because He is alive we have hope.
Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps a person going - the hope of something better, something greater. Sometimes it's the only reason to keep moving forward - the hope that there's actually something worth hoping for.
Sometimes it's the only reason to keep your head up - the hope that this valley will open up into wide open spaces.
Without the resurrection there is no hope. Without the resurrection there is only a man who taught some things worth living by. Without the resurrection the death on the cross is just another death. Without the resurrection we have nothing to look forward to beyond this present world.
I have to believe that Jesus is alive. I have to believe that He is sitting even now at the right hand of the father making intercession for me. I have to believe that in the midst of personal heartache, He is alive and well and cares for me.
This is why I celebrate Easter.
From the time that Jesus was arrested until the morning when the stone was rolled away must have been a dark, hopeless time for His disciples. Imagine the hope that must have swelled in their hearts as they began to hear reports of that He lived again. Thomas doubted, surely a defense mechanism to keep from being disappointed again. Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. Imagine the joy that must have filled their hearts as Jesus stood among them and said simply, "Peace." Imagine the rapture of Mary's heart as she heard Him speak her name in the garden.
How does scripture put it? "Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5)
The resurrection morning was a morning filled with joy, hope, and the washing away of the pain of the days leading up to it.
We all need a resurrection morning sometimes. We all need to come to the end of weeping and experience joy. This is why I celebrate Easter. Because even if I have nothing else to rejoice in....even if I am blinded to anything else worthy of rejoicing in by pain, heartbreak, or circumstances...the fact remains Jesus is alive if my rejoicing can only begin at an empty tomb, then let it begin and grow from there.
He is risen...He is risen indeed!.