It is Easter in a few days. I love Easter. Perhaps that is because of all the fond memories I associate with this time of year: the hats and white gloves and orchid corsages and new dresses when I was a little girl, the egg hunts, the bunny-baskets full of candy, the family gatherings and good food.
As I’ve gotten older a few of those traditions have fallen to the wayside – like the hats and white gloves and orchid corsages. (I should’ve kept the hat one, but I don’t have time to find the perfect Easter hat these days).
But, I HAVE picked up a few other traditions along the way – like watching the movie Chocolat and making coconut macaroons. I love me some chocolate and coconut…and somehow those flavors work best together around this time of year. As for Chocolat, I love the reminder of grace and mercy that the movie subtly speaks of. For that is what this holiday is all about, is it not? Through Christ’s sacrifice, God extends us grace and mercy.
I think, often though, we get focused on simply Jesus’ death and resurrection. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a big deal. Without His death and resurrection, we would still be in an insecure state as to our relationship with God the Father. Because of sin, God could not interact with us humans in the way He originally had intended and desired. But, because of Jesus’ death, or more accurately, because of Jesus life and resurrection, God could.
And that’s where we stop. We forget to apply Easter to our lives. Because of Easter we are covered by Jesus’ blood. Because of Easter, our sins no longer interfere with our relationship with God. Because of Easter, God’s grace and mercy extend over, around, through, and under us. We are accepted. He loves us (not that He didn’t before). Because of Easter, you don’t have to be perfect, or even mostly good. Jesus’ blood covers all the gunk in your life, so you don’t have to sit there, covered in it, and focus on it. You no longer have any need to be reminded of the gunk and sin, you can get up and walk away from it. God will clean that up; God will clean YOU up. Sure, He’ll ask for your help, but He’ll do it. You don’t (you CAN’T) do it on your own. And THAT is what Easter is about: Jesus taking on the responsibility of cleaning up your mess. (Now…if only He would clean up my chocolate-and-coconut-covered kitchen….)
You are free, my friend. Because of Easter, you are free indeed. Now, go and live as if that were true. And treat others as if that were true as well. Because it is. But most Christians forget that. We have to live our life a certain way, maintain a Christian Culture standard, and if you don’t…well then… But that’s NOT why Jesus died. He died so that all might come and hang out with Him – no matter their past sins. I think so often we forget that when Jesus was on Earth, He hung out with the low-lifes, those no one else wanted to associate with because they were the misfits, the thieves, the prostitutes, the betrayers, the less-than-smart, the unclean, the social definitely not accepted. And He invited them to be His friends, to be part of His earthly story. Which means there is hope for each and every one of us. That He’s inviting you to come and sit at His table.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There will be a price to pay. While Christian Culture turns its back on those who aren’t clean enough, or say the wrong things, or do the wrong things, Secular Culture does the same to Christians. But, if you are willing to deal with that, if you are willing to accept what Jesus did for you – and live in that freedom (and I’m not talking about the rule book that many in Christian Culture say you must live by), than this day – Easter, is truly a life-changing day worth celebrating!
He is Risen!
He is Risen indeed!
(Now, go LIVE that way!)