Easter has always been my favorite holiday. As a kid there was always the joy of an Easter basket filled with candy, a new dress made by grandma, new white shoes, and, of course, ruffled socks. As an adult I still love Easter candy, and I always get a new dress for Easter. I love Easter lilies and the hymns that we only sing on Easter. I especially love that Easter Sunday feels special and holy when other Sundays can feel like they are just routine. As much as I love the celebration of Easter, there is something about Easter I love so much more.
Throughout Lent we have been contemplating Jesus last words on the cross. We spend a lot of time focusing on the brutality of crucifixion and the cruelty of our world. That’s what I really love about Easter. Just when it seems like all hope was lost, when things seemed the darkest, Jesus came back. I’ve always loved the sentiment, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!” For me this means that no matter how bad things get, there is always hope for the future.
What makes it even more exciting for me is “how” Jesus came back. He didn’t come back all powerful, full of hatred, and ready to extract revenge. Instead, he came back as humble as ever, still all powerful, but ready to spread joy and hope. There is absolutely nothing that creates peace in my soul more than knowing that in humanity’s darkest hour Jesus’ response was, “It’s ok, I fixed it.”
Even more, it wasn’t just the violent act of his crucifixion that he fixed; it was our sinful tendencies that he healed. Instead of coming back from the grave triumphant in his defeat of death, he returned full of joy at the healing that would now be available to all of us. Jesus death and resurrection were never about him, but rather about creating a pathway for us to God. God wanted so badly to be in a relationship with us, that he came to suffer and die in our place to remove all obstacles.
Easter will forever be for me a fun holiday to celebrate. I will always geek out over bunnies, eggs, and new dresses. But, more importantly, every day is Easter. Everyday I am filled with the joy of a God who came back from death not to gloat, but to spread hope. Easter is a celebration of the incredible love God has for each of us; and that is something to celebrate every moment of every day!