Sunday, April 8, 2012

More than This

Easter is kind of this weird holiday for me.

While it's one of the 2 times during the year that many people attend church, it seems a bit underrated. Aside from church attendance and a plethora of Scriptures all over people's Facebook statuses, I wonder how well we celebrate this holiday.

Dying eggs, egg hunts, our Sunday best, a substantial meal with family and friends, a sunrise service, Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies, peeps... a mixture of pagan rituals tied into the sacred. Interesting.

In all honesty, I think I usually have higher expectations for Christmas and Easter. I want them to mean more...or, rather, I want to focus more on the meaning of them than the traditions behind them. In the Christian faith, this day is a big day. It's the reason we can live with any amount of hope... and we reference it all the time. I just want to do Easter justice... and I'm not sure I know how.

This summer we had an experience with 400+ students each week on the top of a hill with a giant altar. Every week I'd walk a little sheepy up to the top beforehand and I thought/prayed through what I was about to say to these students. Every week I felt inadequate to speak, every week I feared getting something wrong, every week... as I led this sheep...I'd think about Jesus being led to the cross and what that must have been like.

I got the opportunity to tell these students about Old Testament sacrifice. I told them about what the law required for unintentional sin, I described what the altar in the tabernacle must have been like. I brought out the little sheepy and unsheathed my knife, giving them a real visual of what it would be like to not only watch innocent blood spill for the sake of my sins, but to be the one who shed it. I subtly turned my knife over, so the blunt side faced up...and quickly slid it under the sheep's throat. Silence. Then gasps. Then words of accusation. Then realization that the sheep was okay.

But, I think we quickly forget...
...without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. 
The law requires blood to be shed.

I don't think we are very great at grasping the fact that we are sinners. I don't think I always believe that I deserve hell. Quite oppositely, I find myself believing that I deserve good things...and am upset when I don't get them.

Can I grasp that I truly am a sinner?
Can I grasp that I need Jesus' blood to atone for my sins?
Can I grasp that when He said It is finished that He meant it?
Can I grasp that I can't save myself?

I want Easter to be a day where we truly lay down our lives as we claim victory in Christ. A day where we really believe that the battle has been won. A day where we fall on our faces in worship because innocent blood has been shed so we might live.

And I don't want this to just be one day, but an extension of our entire lives.

Maybe I'm just an idealist.... and as a result, I live life in disappointment a lot.

I guess I'm wondering...
Will you let today be about more than the candy, the food, the company, the church service, the list of 5,000 other things you need to do before Monday? Will you simply be still and dwell in the fact that you are sinner, saved by grace, and then walk forth in the victory that brings?
And then, will you do the same thing tomorrow?
And the next day?
And the day after that?

Will you let yourself be revived?
Will you let the things that hold eternal value be the things that matter more than the things that will fade away?

He has risen.
Can we at least want to allow that to change us?

Clinging to a hope for more...
for more than glimmers of what could be... but, instead, a life of true radical change.

I need it.
I need Him.

Do you?

* * *

Your entries will remain anonymous


  1. A lot of truth in this post! Thank you for reemphasizing the importance of Easter. If we are Christians, or call ourselves Christians, then this day is the most important day of the year for us. This day should be a day with the greatest celebration, knowing that we are no longer condemned by the law and sin, but that we are bought and paid for by the blood of our Beloved. The beautiful Bridegroom Jesus Christ.

  2. As I was driving to church this morning I felt so blessed that I get to go to a church that actually feels like a celebration every time. Because I just wanted to jump up and down and dance and yell and sing today because of what this day means.

    I love this post. So much. More than anything you've written ever. And I am so blessed because my pastor pretty much said this this morning. Two quotes from him today.

    "This is not a holiday; this is a gathering of the alive!"
    "He is not a holiday; He is EVERYTHING."