EASTER: THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY

sunset over the horizon
Academic Community

EASTER: THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY

brown rock formation during sunset

We all celebrate Easter a bit differently, depending on our particular faith traditions (and we’re privileged to serve a wide array at Pillar!). Some of us have journeyed with Jesus through the forty days of Lent, perhaps even setting something aside to more fully identify with Jesus along the way. Still others will continue Holy Week services this week with a full slate — Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday services to more fully prepare for Easter Sunday. Still others of us may attend a Good Friday service, and yet others may simply celebrate Easter on Sunday. However we celebrate, may we be reminded that Easter in no way is the end of the story. True, it comes at the end of our season of Easter celebration, and the events of Easter are depicted at the ends of each of our four canonical Gospels in the New Testament. That said, the Gospels provide tantalizing examples for us of how to understand and thereby inhabit Easter properly: each Gospel ends without really ending. They are quite open-ended, in other words, and leave the reader with the profound sense that they really depict the first bits of a story we all find ourselves in — with marching orders, to boot!

“The story of Easter, in other words, is really just the first word, or the beginning of the story — one which begins with the resurrected Messiah Jesus as God’s first bits of New Creation .”

The story of Easter, in other words, is really just the first word, or the beginning of the story — one which begins with the resurrected Messiah Jesus as God’s first bits of New Creation (e.g., the Apostle Paul calls him the “first fruits” of those who have died in 1 Cor 15:20). And when we, who’ve been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection, celebrate Easter on Sunday with our church families, may we be reminded that we do so on New Creation soil, as further representatives of God’s New Creation future here in the present age (Paul says in 2 Cor 5:17 that “if anyone is in Christ — new creation!”).

So celebrate — and celebrate with great gusto — that the end of the Lent, Holy Week, and Easter season is really a celebration of the beginning of God’s new creation age, some of which has already arrived with Jesus and in our own contexts, as well. “Do not be afraid,” as the angel tells the women at the empty tomb, “he is risen… go, and tell…” (Mark 16:7-8).

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