I know, I know. That’s a terrible admission for a Christian, but it’s true.
I grew up in the “new Easter dress” era. Easter was the time to buy a new dress and wear it that Sunday morning—part of the “new” idea of resurrection, I suppose.
Money was tight in our household, so a new dress was somewhat of an ordeal. Sometimes Mom made each of us girls a dress, but she, though not loving the seamstress role, required what seemed like an inordinate number of disruptions to my play time for measurements and fittings.
Then there were the Easter egg hunts, some with little kids, making me feel like a big kid out of water. And honestly, the whole thing of hiding an egg just to see people search for it seemed a little silly. I’d have tolerated it better if I actually liked cold hard-boiled eggs.
The few times we decorated eggs was fun, but then we were left with a whole basket of those cold hard-boiled eggs. As if colored shells and stickers all over could make them taste any better!
When I grew up and became a teacher, I shucked Easter eggs and the new-dress tradition, but the holiday was still more of a trial than a joy. For one thing, all too often Easter marked the end of Easter break and a return to school.
For another, church was packed with a lot of people who didn’t usually attend, and the sermon was almost always geared toward them. That was fine, important, even, but it didn’t leave me feeling like Easter was really for me.
In the end the day simply did not typify what I believed it was supposed to—liberation, restoration, animation.
Liberation—the grave clothes and the grave itself could not contain Christ. So too, guilt and sin, the law and death can no longer enslave the believer.
Restoration—on that first Easter after dying, after lying in the tomb, Christ rejoined His disciples. Imagine! And because He walked from the grave, He made it possible for me to join His family, united with Him, reconciled to God.
Animation—Christ’s lifeless body by a miraculous transformation became a glorious new body, more fully alive than ever. In the same way we believers who were dead in our sins are now alive to God.
I’ve discovered lots of great music celebrating Easter. Keith Green’s “Easter Song” is one piece that captures triumph and joy. I mean really, nothing should temper the hilarity of Resurrection Day.
Christ’s resurrection is proof that we believers will one day be raised incorruptible just as He was. Christ’s resurrection is the verification that death is a defeated enemy. Christ’s resurrection is the evidence that Jesus isn’t just another little god establishing a religious system.
Rather, He is the Lord God Almighty, the great I Am, the Living Water, the Bread of Life. None of those could be true unless He actually walked out of the tomb.
I think Paul encapsulates the significance of the resurrection:
I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
– Phil. 3:8-11 [emphasis mine]
But the truth of these verses isn’t really a one-day sort of truth, so I’m kind of back where I started. I’m not really a big fan of Easter—unless Easter is something we celebrate a lot more often than one day a year.
This post originally appeared here, with some minor revision, in March 2011