“Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:26.
As believers of Jesus, we are called also to believe in the incredible, intentional purpose of our earthly lives. Like athletes running a race of endurance, or fighting with agility and precision, we the church– the hands and feet of Jesus – are called to live purposefully. We are called to have faith in the person of Jesus, and to celebrate purposefully.
Therefore, because we have faith in the perfect person of Jesus Christ, we celebrate Easter by faith also. Interestingly, we put our faith in so many worldly things that are far less trustworthy than is Jesus. With steadfast expectation, we have faith that our car will start in the morning as we head out to work, that our airplane will land safely, that the medicine we purchase from the pharmacy will ease our symptoms of illness. But, as Christians, we are not to put our faith in the matters of the world; rather, we must decide for ourselves what is true. We must choose to put our faith in the Word, which God Himself breathed even before the beginning of time. His Word is the ultimate, incorruptible Truth.
“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe’.” John 20:24-25.
We celebrate Easter because it is the the resurrection of Jesus. Further, it was the turning point of Christianity. Over 500 people saw – with their own eyes – the resurrection of the man of Jesus. We are called to believe in the things unseen, but what an incredible, tangible sight to behold by human eyes!
John 20 continues in verses 26-27, “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
In this passage, the incomprehensible, unsearchable compassion and understanding of Jesus is exemplified, as he meets Thomas right in the midst of his unbelief. What is even more beautiful and outlandish is that this is the heart of Jesus for every person on earth; His heart seeks to find us, and to instill belief wherever there is unbelief. He is not discouraged by our unbelief, but instead, draws us nearer to Him to show us His goodness.
“Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’.” John 20:28-29.
We celebrate Easter as a grand invitation to put our trust in the One we cannot see, “so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”. 2 Corinthians 4:18.
This specific Holiday reminds us both to celebrate and of the ways in which we are blessed by God:
- We are saved. Romans 10:9 promises: “If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
- We have life and life abundant in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:11 reminds us “if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you”.
We celebrate Easter to praise the person of Jesus, to declare our belief in the Resurrection, and to acknowledge our faith in the unseen, that which is everlasting. We are invited to celebrate, as even the angels are in awe of our faith! Hebrews 11:1 further describes this faith which even stuns the angels: “Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. Though we face fleeting matters of the world, God is good and he is eternally good. In Him through Christ Jesus we are free, and that is the very reason for celebration.
Check back soon for more photos from our very own Easter Sunday celebration (spoiler alert: it may have involved BBQ).