I asked Debbie Harris to share a special pre-Easter* post with us, helping us to UPGRADE our Attitude about this special celebration by cultivating “an Easter heart.” She encourages us to enjoy Resurrection Day every day!
“Though Easter Sunday is possibly the largest attended Sunday of the year,” Debbie said, “did you ever wonder about the fact that if it were not for Easter, there would be no church service?"
No church? And not just that … No choir? No Sunday school? No Bible studies? No Stewardship Desserts and potluck fellowships? Can you imagine that?
Debbie continues …
There would be no church service because there would be no faith. The theme of Easter is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the foundational doctrine of our faith. Out of all the doctrines of the Christian faith, the resurrection may be the most important of them all, for if there were no resurrection, we would have no faith!
“and if Christ has not been raised then our preaching is in vain, your faith also is in vain!” (I Corinthians 15:14)
Christ was raised indeed—there absolutely was a resurrection—and so we do have a faith and we do celebrate it every Easter.
But if Easter commemorates the resurrection and the resurrection commemorates our faith, we should actually be celebrating Easter every day! Yes, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is active in us every single day.
Why do we celebrate?
Let me personalize Ephesians 2:1-10 (from the NLT) to explain.
1. His resurrection gives us life!
Once I was dead, doomed forever because of my many sins. I used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. I used to live that way, following the passions and desires of my evil nature. I was born with an evil nature, and I was under God's anger just like everyone else.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved me so very much, that even while I was dead because of my sins, he gave me life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's special favor that I have been saved!)
2. His resurrection gives us position!
For He raised me from the dead along with Christ, and I am seated with Him in the heavenly realms—all because I am one with Christ Jesus. And so God can always point to me as example of the incredible wealth of His favor and kindness toward me, as shown in all He has done for me through Christ Jesus.
3. His resurrection gives us the gift of salvation!
God saved me by His special favor when I believed. And I can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things I have done, so I cannot boast about it.
For I am God's masterpiece. He has created me anew in Christ Jesus, so that I can do the good things He planned for me long ago.”
What fascinating truth, even more fascinating than what Easter means to most: a new season bringing treasures of new life and spring flowers. The resurrection of Christ was the vehicle that gave the treasure of all treasures—new life, position and salvation to all who believe.
Easter may come only once a year, but because of the resurrection we have reason to celebrate it every day!
How do you celebrate Easter (Resurrection Sunday) each spring? How can you be intentional in extending that celebration throughout the year?
Debbie Harris is married to the Men’s Pastor at Shadow Mountain Community Church in southern California. She and Ben have six children and three grandchildren. She loves God, family, women and the Word. Debbie assists her husband in various ministries, disciples women and her highlight of the week is teaching a Precept class, where she has found the thrill of mining diligently through the Word contagious!
* Although this term is usually used, even in most churches, "Resurrection Day" or "Resurrection Sunday" are more accurate.