(This post first appeared on my blog in 2011. I’ve updated it a bit and reposted it, as it still reflects my feelings of joy as we approach Easter this week).
Easter is my favorite holiday. I think Christmas is great and I love celebrating the Incarnation of Christ, remembering his entrance into the world. I enjoy the extended time with family and the rest from work.
But Easter is about resurrection. It’s about New Life. I wake up on Easter morning and feel joyful to the point of bursting, because of what has happened and what is to come.
We all know what happened — some 2000 years ago a few women went to Jesus’s tomb and found it empty. It was an earth-shaking, shiny angel, rolled stone, mass chaos type of day. Nothing like this had happened before. Ever.
But we often forget that this will happen again.
Sometimes we read 1 Corinthians 15 and say, “The resurrection of Christ was important — it’s the foundation of our faith. It proves that He is God and that His sacrifice for our sin was accepted and sufficient.”
That’s true and right and wonderful. But that’s not the main point of the passage.
The main point is that Jesus’s resurrection ensures that it will happen again — those who trust in Him will rise from the dead. Not as disembodied spirits, but as glorified and real bodies. People who can touch and be touched, who are truly and fully alive, body and spirit. The way we should be. People who live without fear, sickness, death, pain, sadness, or any of the other troubles that plague us now.
So on Easter, I do think about 1 Corinthians 15, but I’ve begun reading a different passage as well.
Revelation 21 – 22 describes a new earth, a new heaven, and perfect, renewed, living people. The resurrection of Christ was only the beginning, the “firstfruits” of resurrection and new life. Jesus’s resurrection wasn’t just a great event way back then. It’s an event with earth-shaking, eternal, life-renewing consequences now and in the future.
Because He arose, we will rise. Because He arose, the earth will be re-made and renewed. Because He arose, we wake up on Easter morning and don’t merely celebrate, we anticipate. Our redemption has occurred, but our redemption is still to come.
One day my tomb and your tomb will be empty as well. All will be right, all will be renewed, and life will last forever.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more. And I saw the holy city – the new Jerusalem – descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.” And the one seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” Then he said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.” He also said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the one who is thirsty I will give water free of charge from the spring of the water of life. (Revelation 21:1-6, NET)