Sunday, April 08, 2012

Every Day is Easter

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay." -Matthew 28:5-6

Holy Week is always a busy week for me, but this year it was especially so. I was working. My parents were visiting from Pennsylvania and staying with me and my dog in my apartment for a week - three people and two dogs in my two-bedroom apartment! Just like every year, I directed our church's drama team to put on a Good Friday play to bring to life the story of the crucifixion, so we had rehearsals and of course a church service in the evening on Good Friday. My sister's college touring choir stopped in Raleigh for a performance. My boyfriend met my family for the first time. Also, he and I are two different denominations of Christian, so we went to the sunrise Easter service at my church early this morning and then went to his church's service a few hours later.

Let's just say it was a lot. A wonderful, God-glorifying time, which I wouldn't trade for the whole world, really...but, still, kind of a lot.

And I did what I swore I would never do: I let myself, just for a bit, forget the whole reason we were doing all of this in the first place. I didn't even realize it, but I had.

See, to me, Easter is the ultimate Christian holiday. I know a lot of people make Christmas out to be the biggest, but frankly, a virgin birth pales in comparison to Jesus rising from the dead. I know, ipso facto, grant the premise, He had to be born in order to die...but c'mon. The whole point was for Jesus to be crucified and rise again. Christmas is great, but that's just the exposition of the story. Easter is the climax.

And yet, I'd unknowingly let myself get so busy with church activities and family and work - all blessings! - that I, like so many others do, usually ironically at Christmas - forgot what it was really about.

But then, suddenly, the whirlwind was over. It was around two o'clock this afternoon, after two church services and Easter lunch. My parents had packed up and were headed back to Pennsylvania. My boyfriend, also exhausted, had gone home. I was left alone with my dog for the first time in more than a week...and, inexplicably, I was so lonely I wanted to cry.

"What is wrong with me?" I kept thinking over and over as I held my dog and squeezed her. (She was probably thinking the same thing!)

Then I realized - that's it. That's the whole point. Jesus rose from the dead. He defeated sin and death so we would never have to be alone. Because of His sacrifice - because of His victory! - nothing will ever, again or since, separate us from the love of God.

How awful would it be if there was no Easter? How awful would it be if He had not risen?

But He did. Praise God!

Because He lives...I can face tomorrow, all fear is gone, and I know Who holds the future. And that's what makes it Easter every single day.