The Story of Easter: A New Beginning
Without a doubt, Easter is the most important Christian holiday. Why? What does the resurrection of Christ mean? The resurrection of Christ takes place at the end of the four gospels. But it is the beginning of a new story. The story of God’s new creation begins with the resurrection of Christ. When we believe in Christ, we participate in this story. The power of the resurrection floods our hearts and teaches us two important lessons.
First, Christ’s resurrection teaches us to hope. As wars and violence surround us, it is easy to despair; it is easy to think that there is no hope for a world so often marred by cruelty and brutality. Christ’s resurrection, however, teaches us to hope that a far greater power reigns in this world. Even as perpetrators of evil lust after control, the resurrection of Christ assures us that the power of love will ultimately overcome the love of power.
Second, Christ’s resurrection teaches us to love. God’s power displayed in Christ’s resurrection can transform our hearts so that we learn to live according to Christ’s image and example. By His power, we begin to love our neighbour as ourselves. By His power, we reject the hatred that so saturates this world. By His power, we learn to listen to others humbly. By His power, we deny our narcissistic impulses to live only for ourselves.
God’s new creation begins in our hearts, but it does not end there. When Christ returns, we will be resurrected from the dead. We will live with our Saviour in a beautifully transformed world. The Apostle John describes this new world: “God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death will be no more, neither will there be mourning nor crying nor pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” That is why the words “Christ is Risen!” are so important. The resurrection of Christ confirms the resurrection of all who believe in Him. As we celebrate the resurrection of Christ this Easter, let us thank God for the privilege we have of participating in the story of new creation!
Rev. Dr. Zachary Kail
Member of the American Academy Board of Directors