We all like to get some time off. We want to rest. We want to travel and visit friends and be with the family. It makes more sense especially if you did not grow up in the capital city (Windhoek). When I was a student, I looked forward to the mid-semester break which was during the Easter weekend. All that I wanted was to rest from all the work. Later on, during my pastoring years, Good Friday and Easter Monday were times of rest.
But is this what Good Friday or the Easter weekend is about? Is it about traveling and resting (do not get me wrong here, rest is needed), but should we be focused on rest and forget about the greatest act that was ever done by someone (Jesus Christ)? In this article, I want to look at Easter’s meaning, what it should mean to us as believers, and finally, look at some practical things that we can do during Easter.
The Meaning of Easter
Easter is one of the important days for Christians. Easter marks the triumph of Jesus Christ. Human beings, no matter how good they are or how skillful they are, cannot escape death. When they die, they die with their knowledge and skills. And their lives are no more. When a nation loses its leader (a great leader), fear comes in and questions such as “what will happen to us now?” are asked.
Joshua after Moses died faced the same scenario. What will happen to Israel after the death of Moses? But God encouraged him (Joshua 1:1-9). And Joshua led the people and he eventually died just like any human being. When we put our trust in people we have confidence in those people. But when the time comes when they are no more, fear comes in and sometimes even confusion comes. People tend to lose hope when their beloved leader is no more.
But with Jesus Christ, it is different. God had a plan before creation, that Jesus would conquer the enemy. When Jesus became a man, the plan of God was in motion. And Jesus made the plan known to the disciples; Mark 8:31 “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.” Christ’s disciples then did not understand the plan and misunderstood the enemy for Rome, as they were under the Rome government. The disciples wanted physical freedom. And we tend to think that way when we think about Jesus; that Jesus is there to set us free from physical oppression.
In God’s plan through Jesus Christ, conquering meant defeating the enemy. When Jesus died on the cross, the serpent was finally crushed. And this resulted in being set free from the enemy.For example, Paul describes how our lives were (Christians) that we lived to gratify the desires of the flesh, we lived following the ways of this world and the ruler of this world (Ephesians 2:1-4). Paul went further to say that we were dead in our transgression. But because of the cross, because of Easter, we are made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)
Easter is about what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Because of the cross, human beings can have a relationship with God. Because of the cross human beings, their sins are forgiven and dealt with. He died on the Good Friday and on the third day he rose from the dead, showing the victory of his redemptive plan. Death, the last enemy for man is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Our Christ has conquered sin and established salvation for his people. But because Jesus Christ; died a shameful death on the cross, he paid the penalty of sins, he defeated death.
Easter means hope for men
As we have mentioned already, Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul argues that without the resurrection, our preaching of the gospel will be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:12-14). But because of his resurrection, Christians look forward to also being resurrected like our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the hope that all men are being invited.
Christ gives us what neither the world nor any person or leader can give. All earthly inheritance is temporal. Whatever inheritance one can receive here on earth is temporal, none of them can secure hope. For example, you want to start a farm with goats and you do not have money to buy animals. Then you inherit about fifty goats from your parents. You are excited about the goats because your dream of being a farmer is materializing. But then that year rain did not come. And all your goats died. All your hope of being a farmer is shattered. Where else are you going to find money to buy goats? Goats are not there forever, however, Christ promises much more. What he gives is eternal, imperishable and something that will not fade away.
When we come to the hope that we have in Christ, we have an inheritance that will never fade away, it will never perish, no matter where we are in the world that inheritance is secured, it is shielded by God who knows all things (1 Peter 1:4-5) and because it is secured, our hope is unshaken. A lot can be said about the meaning of Easter for a believer but because of space, I cannot share as much. But know that Easter reminds us of that hope that Christ has established through his death, and this is the living hope. And we receive this hope by believing in what Jesus Christ did during the Easter weekend, and he becomes our Lord and Savior. And we live a life that is pleasing to him or a life that is in accordance with the gospel.
Being practical during Easter
One of the practical things that we can do is to go to church. As I have mentioned Easter reminds us of that hope that we have in Jesus; what better way to remind yourself with other believers. Singing together, praying together and hearing the word (being reminded of Jesus Christ). When we become Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, we become part of God’s family with other Christians. And when we gather, we are proclaiming Easter (Christ died on the cross and after three days he rose again).
Two, because we usually use this time to travel, do not allow to be diverted from the real meaning of Easter. As you travel, gather your family and talk about Easter, talk about the living hope that you have, and talk about the meaning of Easter. Help your family know how important this day is.
And finally, share the hope that you have with others. Easter is a well-known day. It is an opportunity to share what Easter is all about.