I wish it could be Easter every day. Though not for the chocolate (well, let’s say the chocolate isn’t the main motivator). When Easter comes we remember Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. We sing about it, we talk about it on the radio, we celebrate and we have times of solemn reflection, we encourage repentance and rejoice in the new life we have in Jesus. Some places do an interactive prayer walk, a performance or art exhibition of the Easter story. Evangelists seem to have more confidence as this is the time the world has deemed it okay to discuss religion.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 reads ‘For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.‘
The thing about Jesus’ death, is it wasn’t for Easter. It was to start a new and eternal covenant. Because Jesus died, we can enter a relationship through him with the Father, our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). This is not something we should remember once in a while, it isn’t something we should talk about a couple of times a year, it’s something we should always be focused on. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us that we run with perseverance looking to Jesus who endured the cross. If we lose sight of Jesus, of the cross and Resurrection, we will quickly run out of steam. ‘Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart’ (Hebrews 12:3). We should live in this knowledge every day. Even on the worst of days, this is something we can take comfort in.
Though I understand that at Easter time people are more approachable concerning religion, and happier to go to church, this doesn’t mean that the message is less strong or effective the rest of the year, neither does it give us an excuse to not tell people about Jesus. Paul see’s proclaiming the Gospel an obligation: ‘an obligation is laid on me, and woe betide me if I do not proclaim the gospel!’ (1 Corinthians 9:16). Now how we best proclaim the gospel will change depending on who you are, but the core method will always be acting out of love.
So the question is this, and I challenge myself with it: do we make as much effort to remember the Easter story throughout the year, do we let it motivate us and direct us, or do we let ourselves forget the great price that was paid for our freedom? Are we confident in the amazing power of the gospel always, or just when it is easy? Do we proclaim the gospel in love only when the holiday season permits it, or do we do so all the time? Jesus died once and for all (Romans 6:10) that all may be saved (2 Peter 3:9); we should remember this always, because it will always be true.
Being a follow of Jesus is a full time thing, it isn’t seasonal. Jesus loves you and died for you, and rose again that you may have eternal life. Sin and death are defeated all through the year every year. We need to look towards Jesus, letting him be our strength every day that we may live fully for him, knowing that we in our sin died with him, and we rise blameless with him (Romans 6). We cannot stay strong and keep heart if we lose focus on the reality of what Jesus has accomplished and rely on our own strength. Focus on Jesus and don’t look back.
God bless you and keep you always.