Bunnies, brunches, candy and crosses. Easter is a nice spring holiday we celebrate. It’s also the memorial date attached to an historical event.
Question is, what do we do with that event?
There are some things you can just shrug about and move on without forming an opinion. The resurrection of Jesus isn’t one of those things. It happened or it didn’t. It’s either a crazy myth or it’s a paradigm-shifting historical event.
The idea that Jesus is God and literally came back to life is a lot to swallow. I have my reasons for why I believe this to be true, but I’m not coming down on those who doubt.
It’s the believers I’m worried about.
See, people who don’t believe do a really good job of reflecting their view of the resurrection in the way they live. They go all out, stay in the moment, and live like there’s no tomorrow. Because, let’s be honest. If Jesus didn’t come out of that tomb under his own power there really isn’t any tomorrow. I get it.
On the other hand, those of us who do believe in Jesus’ resurrection seem to have a hard time reflecting that belief in our moment by moment conduct.
For the religious crowd, it’s easy to project the meaning of Easter to the far-off future. We know the resurrection means that we’ll see our loved ones again and that we’ll live forever in the sweet by and by. However, we forget that the message of Easter is firmly attached to the here and now.
When Paul crafts his remarks about the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15, he wraps up his discussion with a concluding statement. He’s talked about the historic event, he’s theorized about the what ifs and he’s expounded its eternal benefits of the resurrection.
Then comes the short conclusion. It’s short, but it packs a punch.
Paul doesn’t say, “Since Jesus is alive, hole up somewhere until he returns to take you out of this crummy world.” He doesn’t give us believers a free pass to day dream about heaven all day or to cluck our tongues at sinners who will get their just reward when an angry Jesus returns to kick butt. Far from it!
What Paul does say is “so what” of Easter. It’s the very practical bottom line:
“So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”
(1 Corinthians 15:58).
One way or the other, Easter isn’t just something we celebrate — it’s something we do. How we live the Monday after reflects how we really view the Sunday.
The hope we have isn’t just a distant insurance against death — it’s a very present assurance that what we do in this life matters now and in eternity.
Easter is the kind of hope that makes you roll up your sleeves on Monday “knowing that your labor is not in vain.”
This Monday, let’s be outstanding…what do you say?