I don’t know about you, but I find it always seems to sneak up on me (okay, if you missed the confession the first time you won’t now). Yes, surprisingly enough, I do get ‘caught’ by Easter at times. Not that I don’t think about it, I think about it a lot, but instead I spend a LOT of time thinking about the Easter event, the ministry, the messages, the community outreach we do with Holy Land Adventure, and not so much time thinking about the world-changing event that happened so long ago. It’s not intentional, it just happens in the busyness of life.
I wonder if this was part of what Jesus had in mind when he took bread and a cup during his followers Passover sedar and said: “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Did he know the distractions they would have, the temptations they would face, the doubts that would creep in? Of course he did! He knew how hard it would be, the long road ahead for them and by extension for all of us. He warned them, “In this world you WILL (emphasis added) have trouble,” in John 16 but he didn’t leave them hanging. He reminded them to “take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33).
We have the opportunity to not only remember this but celebrate the fact that sin was paid for on the cross and that death has been defeated by an empty tomb. Yes, that’s worth celebrating. But there’s more, we can also celebrate that JESUS has overcome the world so we don’t have to. We can also be comforted by it. This is a great thing to remember as we prepare for Easter: the cross is empty, the tomb is empty, Jesus is alive!
But we can also do this more than once a year and probably should. We have that opportunity every week here at GBC when we take communion during our Breaking of Bread service. We call it a remembrance service because we remember, as Jesus encouraged his followers the very first time, to do this in remembrance of him and keep doing it until he returns. He will return, he reminded us of that when he told the disciples he would partake in this again one day when he returned (Matt.26:29).
That’s great for the future, but what about the here and now? He’s got that covered too! Jesus said: “I will be with you always, to the very end of the age,” (Matt 28:20). This age will come to an end and a new age will be ushered in, the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s something worth remembering and even more, it’s worth celebrating. I’m glad I’ve had the chance to think about it BEFORE it happened.
Happy Easter! Jesus is alive!