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6 Reasons For Why Christians Celebrate Easter

This weekend, Christians are remembering how Jesus lived, what he taught, and especially how and why he died. But we’re also thinking about something more.

Resurrection.

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On such occasions, I sometimes hear my friends asking, “What does this crazy event mean? Why is it celebrated?”

20140419.35816For wisdom about issues of ultimate importance, I like to turn to the Bible. The passages about the  end  interruption of Jesus’ life are:

Matthew 28

Mark 16

Luke 24

John 20

I’ve been reading these passages and reflecting on my own life as a Christian (something over 20 years).

Here are a number of much-needed elements the resurrection offers to us…

1. Understanding

Right after the resurrection, the disciples are confused. Jesus appears to couple of them walking along the road and explains everything to them. And later he “opens their minds” (Luke 24:13-35, 45). While I’ve never seen Jesus, I sure can relate to needing Jesus to help sense of the world, what people do, my own self, and history.

2. Peace

As I look around, it seems there’s a whole lot of striving and posturing, trying to cover up or undo our brokenness. But Easter means can drop our acts, our fake perfection. (In fact, we’re in a world of trouble if we don’t.) The Resurrection makes it clear how brittle those attempts are. But Jesus is with us—living!—always (Matthew 28:20). So we can stop faking it.

3. Joy

In the four accounts of Jesus’ resurrection in the Bible, there’s a lot of joy. The women are “filled with joy” (Matthew 28:8) and the disciples are “overjoyed” (John 20:20).

4. Purpose

Right after the Resurrection, Jesus appears to some women who were disciples. When they saw him, they fell down at his feet and worshipped (Matthew 28:9). And just a bit later, Jesus sends out his disciples to make more disciples, and to follow him and to join in the building of God’s kingdom. They are transformed from a mangy bunch of fishermen, conniving tax agents, and hookers into the family of God.

5. Courage

Repeatedly in these accounts in the Bible, we find Jesus or angels telling people “Don’t be afraid.” And as we read on in the book of Acts, about the early Church, they were transformed into very courageous people.

6. Hope

We have a great hope deficit these days. There’s a lot of reason to despair. But Jesus has all authority (Matthew 28:18). The one who walked through death might be able to help us as we face school shootings, tsunamis, and the Kardashians.

Ultimately, of course, underneath all these is the hope that we can be reconciled to God, that our shortcomings and the evil inside us don’t keep us from knowing God.

How else does the Resurrection matter? What are you reflecting on this week?

Leave a comment below.