Piling up in supermarkets and online stores, chocolate eggs are one of the most visible cues that Easter is around the corner. Stacked up in all their chocolatey glory, in all sorts of flavours, colours and sizes, Easter eggs have traditionally wormed their way into this celebratory season. Much ado about eggs! But not without warrant; beneath those decorative wrappings lies a powerful symbol. Eggs were used in pre-Christian festivals to symbolize fertility and new life. No surprises then that they would feature prominently around Easter, a significant event in the Christian calendar that embodies the story of new life.
The events that unfolded on the very first Easter are of historic proportions and play a significant role in redemptive history. It is therefore important that Christians do not, out of apathy or overindulgence, lose sight of this event nor its implications for our lives both in the present and hereafter.
Perhaps a good starting point would be to mark out the contrast between what was (before) and what now is (after).
The Bad News
It’s absurd to speak of good news without a prelude to some otherwise undesirable incident. As such, good news is often better appreciated when considered in light of some counteracting bad news. So as an example, there’s nothing to cheer about when a ground-breaking cure is found for no ailment; neither is there any chance of that absurdity happening in the first instance!
The Bible lays out this stark contrast in its narrative of God’s plan of redemption. By nature, we inherit the effect of the first sin, and thereby instinctively fall short of God’s righteous standards. In a bid to earn righteousness, we grapple helplessly at the law, only to discover that even on our best days, we’re unable to satisfy its demands. We lament our helplessness, and wonder with the Apostle Paul, “O wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24 ESV).
Surely, we need rescuing, and not only from the futility of seeking salvation in the wrong places, but ultimately from the Lawgiver to whom we are inescapably accountable!
The Good News
Thankfully, the Lawgiver in His eternal and sovereign plan, has made a way of escape from this grim reality. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, came to earth, lived to satisfy all the requirements of the law, died, and was raised to life, thereby defeating sin and death. Through the gift of faith, sinners can now lay hold of this truth and are sheltered by Christ’s saving grace. Not only does he secure a future hope for believers, he restores our broken relationship with God. Good news of good news, God and sinners reconciled!
“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” exclaims a much-relieved Apostle; and so should we. This good news of what Jesus Christ accomplished on our behalf in his life, death and resurrection is the Gospel that starts us out on our journey of faith. It is also what keeps us going, in a cycle of faith and repentance. It is as much for the found as it is for the lost! So, as opportunities arise, let’s get the word out. Perhaps there will be ready-made opportunities to share the gospel this Easter season?
A Cause to Rejoice
Easter eggs and bunnies aside, there can be no true celebration of Easter without contemplating the work of Christ. The Apostle Paul makes a compelling argument that without the resurrection of Christ, our faith is futile (1 Corinthians 15). Easter gives us much assurance that our faith is not futile because Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, and with his resurrection comes hope that extends throughout this life and beyond.
What better reasons for believers to celebrate this season than knowing the blessings of sins forgiven, God’s wrath averted, relationship restored, and a glorious future hope. Yet, whilst we do not limit our celebration to just one Holy Week, we admit that for a Christian whose everyday life is hinged on the Easter narrative, a week intentionally set aside is a plus.
These gospel realities merit our continuous meditation and delight, Easter is one of many opportunities we get to stop, think and celebrate. So, whatever your plans are this season, be sure to keep the main things in focus.
Sike Osinuga is a Christian woman learning the ropes of being a godly wife and mother, one wobbly step at a time. An erstwhile Telecoms Engineer, she enjoys reading good books and writing. Her passion is to know Christ and to make Him known. She blogs at http://www.thrivebytheword.com”