At the very end of A Christmas Carol, after Scrooge’s great transformation; the narrator says “He knew how to keep Christmas well”. The question that came to my mind with Easter soon upon us–what would “keep Easter well” look like?
I think for me, it must be a balance of remembering the LOVE (for me) that took Jesus, God’s Son to the cross. The Cost of that Cross (my sin) that was spent for me when He endured the pain and suffering on that cross. Only then can I celebrate the resurrection power that freed me from my sin–so I can live in liberty from that sin. I believe until we take the time to personalize the reality of His love; the Cost; and the Power of the Resurrection that encompasses the entire story, we will begin to comprehend and experience the enormous joy and blessing of our new life in Him.
It is often difficult for me to read about the crucifixion, especially the nailing part. To understand the physical, emotional and spiritual pain our Lord endured for us is overwhelming. I want to jump straight to the empty tomb. But I am so thankful our Lord did not do that. He endured the cross, despising the shame for me. And for that I am so grateful, humbled and in love with Him. My parents were very firm in celebrating Easter as the day of Resurrection. We did not do bunnies, baskets etc. (not debating anything here, just telling our story). We dressed up in our finest and one of the most consistent memories year after year was the singing Alfred Ackley’s hymn “I serve a Risen Savior” (also known as He Lives). The entire congregation would joyfully lift their voices in the reality that He lives. This song epitomizes celebrating the resurrection of Jesus for me, not just on Easter Sunday, but everyday of the year. We do serve a risen Savior! May this reality grow more real every day of our lives. If you have not heard this song–google it! The thoughts expressed by this hymn, should help us all “keep Easter well” .
I Serve a Risen Savior (He Lives)
I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today
I know that He is living, whatever men may say
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer
And just the time I need Him He’s always near
He lives (He lives) He live (He lived), Christ Jesus lives today
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way;
Chorus: He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives) Salvation to impart
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart
In all the world around me I see His loving care
And though my heart grows weary I never will despair
I know that He is leading through all the stormy blast
The day of His appearing will come at last
Chorus (He Lives)
Rejoice, rejoice O Christian Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal Hallejuhas to Jesus Christ, the Kind
The hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find
None other is so loving, so good and kind