Friday, April 1, 2016

Easter Sundays

"Then the disciples were glad" (John 20:20).

With good reason, much is made of the forty days of Lent.  Not enough, though, is made of the fifty days of Easter.  To most, Easter is a notable day after which life returns to normal.  But the resurrection of Jesus means that life will never again be normal.

Normally life is followed by death and then a period of mourning.  Take the life of Moses, for example.  He lived a long life; he died; the people mourned for thirty days (Deut. 34:7-8).  Life, death, mourning.

But now in Christ something new is revealed.  The order is exactly reversed.  Lent, the period of mourning over our sin, is first but leads us to the Good Friday death of our Lord in payment for our sin, and His death leads to His Easter resurrection and new life for us all.  Mourning, death, life!

To underscore this complete turnaround, the church celebrates seven Easter Sundays: Easter Sunday followed by six more!  Then Pentecost (a word meaning "fiftieth") marks the fiftieth day.

This period of Easter is the happiest in the church year.  Let Christians greet one another with "Christ is risen!"  Let us continue to sing Easter hymns!  And let us treat one another with acts of joy and celebration!