The Essential Message of Easter
Regardless of whether you are an Episcopalian, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist or “Christian” of some stripe, the festival of Easter is the highlight of our year. With its themes of His triumph over death and His resurrection, we prepare ourselves for the Ascension of our Lord.
It is important to remember that Salvation is not just a historical event that took place in the distant past to other people in other places. The same spiritual energies that were available during the Resurrection are available to us in the here and now. Easter is truly an opportunity for re-birth for those who grasp on to it.
The Easter season is looked upon with great anticipation by people who are interested in their own spiritual growth and well being. The rituals we observe allow us time for reflection, prayer and penitence, which can lead to our own rebirth.
The early Christians no longer focused on the exodus from Egyptian Bondage, but on a new kind of exodus from the bondage of sin to the new life of our Risen Lord.
Sometimes during the weeks preceding Easter we have a feeling of discomfort, of sadness. We walk around moping, not quite understanding why. This is because in a way, we are in mourning. We are mourning the loss of a part of our essential selves, even though our sinfulness is something we need to eradicate, we still mourn its loss. Why? Because the behavior patterns of sin are known to us, we feel oddly comforted by the familiarity of them.
Sinfulness lies deep within a person; it is an attitude, a willingness to turn ones face away from the Creator. Often times we are not even conscious of this shift away from God. It is only after one comes to the realization that he has turned his face away and separated himself, can he hope for perfect reunification. But how do we move from our deeply flawed state of sin to one of reconciliation? The followers of Christ have been furnished with the cure. Once and for all, Jesus has paid the price for us to redeem ourselves. Through the saving action of Christ, each of us has been reconciled to God.
The spiritual energy of the Easter Season affords us a unique opportunity to grasp hold of our own redemption. We need to remember that life is a series of stops and starts, of spiritual advancement and spiritual retreat. We have “spiritual growth spurts” throughout our lives until the day we die. I hope that this Easter you will take the opportunity to explore the reason for the season in your own life.