April 5, 2021

Romans 5:7-8

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

For many of my Christian years I nurtured a very secret question about Easter. I knew it was a dangerous question, one that should not bother me if I was a “good Christian.” I don’t think I ever asked this question out loud, and if I did, I’m sure I soft-pedaled it so much no one would have questioned my spirituality. Because, I thought, no one in good standing with Jesus would even think such a thing, right?

Every Easter seemed the same to me. Church activities ramped up. A mood of celebration was encouraged and proclaimed. Special choirs were organized and performed. Little kids were brought up front to recite the angels’ words at the tomb. And as a congregation we shouted “He is risen!” and “Hallelujah!” recklessly during the service. It was always the biggest weekend of the year.

And so often I found myself on Easter morning looking around and thinking: Man, what is the big deal with Easter?

Why do we make such a fuss on this day? Why do we go so crazy about the crucifixion and resurrection once a year? Yes, it’s great that Jesus died for us… but that’s true all year long, isn’t it? We talk about it every Sunday already! So why do we need to shout and sing and celebrate it even more on Easter?

I’m sure there are many ways God might answer this question for others. For me, He did it in two small ways: He showed me myself, and He showed me Himself.

God showed me I really don’t know myself at all. I like to think I’m good… but deep down I’m really not. I actually fall way short of God’s standard of “goodness” and I hate admitting that. It was a long process, with many small realizations along the way, but I finally came to understand the truth: No matter how hard I try to be righteous I will always be plagued by selfishness, pride and a desperate desire to keep God at arm’s length from my life, if not further.

Then God showed me Himself. He showed me I don’t understand how deep is His love. He could have cast me aside as useless, a failed creation, an obstinate, headstrong, opinionated rebel. Instead God showed me He loves me so much He was willing to die for me, while I was yet a sinner. He loves me that much.

He loves all of us that much.

It’s not just “great” that Jesus died for us. It’s amazing and unbelievable that He died for us!

And now I understand a little better why we make such a big deal about Easter.

How about you?

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