Drop the chocolate bunny and the colored eggs for a few minutes. Here’s why Easter matters in the daily conflicts of life for a Christian.
Christians celebrate Easter as the day when we found the tomb of Jesus to be empty. After 3 days, he had been resurrected.
The law of sin and death was broken. Death no longer has dominion.
Instead, we claim eternal life. “Eternity” doesn’t mean, “All of time after I die.” Eternity is all of time, period. Eternity is infinite time before and after any given moment.
That pretty easily runs into the abstract and incomprehensible, but we’re going to try to skirt those in favor of the typical and practical.
Easter means that we participate in all of life and all of time, right NOW.
Easter means that we don’t have to be afraid of dying.
That’s the really cool part, the very much real part, because all of our fears, and thus all of our conflicts, boil down to a fear of dying.
Strip them away – please do – and that’s what you’ll find.
Do you want to fight over money? What does money do? Ultimately, it enables you to buy food, shelter, medicine – the stuff that keeps you alive.
If the core aspects of physical survival were guaranteed then what value would money have? It would only be something that you gave to the cable company or the IRS, no big deal.
Do you want to fight over your reputation? What does your reputation do? It allows you to sustain employment – see the part about money in the previous paragraph – and friendships, which also offer you security.
If you were assured that, no matter what, you’d always have a core group of friends and family who loved you then what value would your reputation have? Would you truly be troubled by a passing insult?
Do you want to have road rage? Driving is scary stuff. We propel heavy machines faster than we can truly control them amid an unpredictable matrix of large objects, uncertain roads, and other drivers in various states of thought and feeling.
Vehicle collisions are a major cause of death. No wonder we have road rage. It’s dangerous out there.
Oh, and if you’re running late to work then you risk your job and can review the paragraphs about money.
If you can find an exception, find a fear that can’t be reduced to a fear of dying, then please email this Examiner.
A Christian has no reason to fear death. That doesn’t mean that we can or should be reckless, or that we should sell our lives cheaply, or passively capitulate to those who would misuse or take our lives for their own gain.
Jesus’ defeat of death does mean, though, that those little fears that drive our daily conflicts have no dominion. We are free to protect our lives up to – but not beyond – the point where our actions are consistent with our moral code.
We’re no longer constrained by our biology and committed to any desperate course of action that promises to prolong our lives.
Jesus, who was obedient to God, even unto death, frees us to decide how to live, not in a reflexive-autonomic-panic that is wired into our bodies and moves faster than conscious thought, but rather, in a deliberate and willful and free way.
On Easter, we rejoice in the slaying of death and the assurance that the ultimate battle has already been won.
For Christians, Easter means that we can choose how to fight the minor battles of daily life, or not to fight them at all.
That’s the difference that we should expect from ourselves and the difference that the world should expect from us.