Summary: Focuses on why Easter is not just a holiday to be celebrated once per year.
After The Resurrection (Part 1)
Have you ever participated in a sporting event where you competed against others and made it to the championship game and won? Maybe you did not participate, but your school team or your favorite college or professional team did. Do you remember the day of the event and the celebration that took place after the win? Do you remember opening up the newspaper the next day to read about the event? DO you remember coming into contact with friends and acquaintances and everyone was talking about what had happened the day before “in the big game?” When KU was eliminated from the NCAA tournament, it was in the papers and on the news for several days following. When the Super Bowl is played, the city of the team that wins celebrates for days following the game. You cannot open up a newspaper or turn on the TV without someone talking about the winners and how the game was won. Today is the last day of the Master’s for those of you who follow golf. Regardless of who wins, tomorrow there will be something in most newspapers and on every sports station about the winner and Tiger Woods, regardless of whether or not he wins. All of these victories are celebrated for days following the event and people who follow the events talk about it for days, weeks and years later if they were the victors. Some people go to their graves decades later relishing in the memories of that one important victory. They did not just celebrate it and remember it on the day it happened they talked about it whenever the opportunity presented itself. They were proud of the event.
Now let’s go back to last week. What did you do on Monday morning? Did you get up and start you day as any other day? Were you dreading what was planned for the day as you thought about your calendar and your to do list? What did you do? Let me ask you another question. Did you tell anyone about your celebration on last Sunday on Monday? What about on Tuesday? Last Sunday everyone of us in this room celebrated the most important day in our lives. Last Sunday we celebrated Christ’s resurrected which opened the door for us to have eternal life. We sung praises to God with raised hands as we celebrated. With all of that celebration going on, for some of us it started on Sunday morning and ended on Sunday afternoon. Unlike when we win the big one, we do not talk about this victory with our friends and neighbors. This victory does not get reported on the news on Monday and if you searched every newspaper in the country you would have a hard time finding an article on the celebration happening after Easter.
In the weeks leading up to Easter, there is a lot of “Spiritual” activities. We see people fasting and giving up other things temporarily as they prepare for their Easter celebration. Some start this period 40 days before Easter, a time known to some as “lent”. On a secular basis, the stores gear up for Easter by bringing in their new spring line of clothes with bright pastels signifying that spring is here. During the weeks before Easter many people go out and shop for new clothes to wear to that special Easter morning service. When Easter morning finally arrives, we dress in our new clothes and head to Church to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. We celebrate the newness of our “resurrected” life in our new clothes with an emphasis of enjoying a highly spiritual-lifting worship service. During the service we think about what Christ’s resurrection means and we are glad that He chose to die for our sins. The music is special and we get our Easter sermon from the pastor. Leading up to Easter the pastor may have started a special series that covers Palm Sunday and what Jesus experience on His way to the cross, but on Easter Sunday, the special Easter sermon is preached. Sometimes we sit in the audience and think about all of the other sermons we have heard on Easter and about the resurrection as we patiently give the pastor his/her due and listen to the message. When the service is over, we fellowship with our fellow members for a little while and then go to Easter brunch or home to enjoy a great dinner with family and friends. We relax and enjoy this time of internal reflection about what it means to be a Christian and to have had Christ die for our sins some 2000 years ago. When all of the celebrations are completed, we go to bed and wake up to another Monday morning. Another Easter has passed. Another holiday has come and gone. Another season of buying new clothes is behind us. Now it is time to return back to the daily routine of living. After the resurrection celebration, we go back to normal and we do not take the celebration into the days and weeks that follow.