Joe, a colleague approached me and asked me to explain the Movie “PASSION of Christ” to him. We had never discussed the fact that I was a Christian before now. I had never tried to preach to him (or anyone at my office for that matter) so I was a bit taken aback at his choice of opening words. I get that it’s Easter and for a second I faltered expecting a prank, but the look he gives me is one of genuine interest. I probe a little more and he wants to know what the resurrection is and what Jesus was doing for 3 days. I smile and start talking.
I am a Christian. I’ve been that way since my teens and I’ll be 40 this year. There are a lot of rituals in the Christian faith, the longer you’ve been a Christian the more you take for granted that other people would know these celebrations. We have our own diction, complete with its own set of inflections and intonations where the same words and even gestures could imply different concerns. These disparities to the uninitiated is like someone coming over to America from the third world, who learnt English back home and discovered sarcasm in America.
The 2 biggest “secular-Christian” holidays are Christmas and Easter; the birth and death of our savior Christ. When I was younger loved Christmas, the singing the good food, the good cheer. I can’t say the presents because we didn’t have that growing up, Easter on the other hand, I “feared”. The glum, the sadness, I mean how can you celebrate someone’s death, right? Plus there was the fast you had to endure through Lent to get to Easter and if you survived, there were still the food restrictions during Easter, No meat? What? Why? Now with a family of my own, a spouse and children looking to me to keep them safe and make good decisions for us all I now have a different perspective on Easter.
As I explain to this young man about Easter it starts to dawn on me. Easter is a chance to let go of the dead things in our lives, the things that aren’t working, the things that are hurting, and the actions that we are most ashamed of.
My eureka moment is when I grasp that its not for people who don’t call themselves Christians alone but for US too, Christians who are honest enough to realize that we have lost our way. We have lost our passion. We have fallen along the way side and have become the wounded Samaritan. The compromises and broken promises can be buried in the tomb. We can come out new. The power of sin and death is broken in your lives. If only we can surrender our pride, our ambition to do it by ourselves- the story everyone loves to tell, how we picked ourselves up by our boot straps and climbed out of poverty and obscurity into prominence and success. Well this is not always a true story and it’s left a lot of us deformed and depressed.
Elevation worship has a song titled RESURRECTING …. a line there says “the RESURRECTED KING IS RESURRECTING ME”. That’s what we need. We need an influx of Christ’s power. The power of forgiveness. The power to erase past mistakes and start afresh. Older and scarred but wiser to this truth; We CAN’T DO IT BY OURSELVES but when We surrender to Jesus we can. He is good. He can be trusted. He knows all the hurt, suffering and pain. He knows the despair of our hearts. He knows how hopeless we sometimes feel. He knows.. He knows.. He knows. At Easter he says to us, I’ve been here. I know. I can help. Take my hand I know the way, I have been down these paths before. He promises us. “It will get better”. “I know it doesn’t feel that way right now but it will get better”. “Come with me”.
Happy Easter Joe, and thanks for reminding me.