A cartoon in the newspaper showed a little boy and girl around their Easter baskets on Easter morning. “Who colored all these eggs?” the little boy asked. “The Easter bunny” said the girl. “Who gave us the jelly beans?” asked the little boy. “The Easter bunny” said the girl. “And the chocolate rabbit?” asked the boy. “The Easter bunny” said the girl. In the next frame the family goes to worship and the preacher proclaims, “…they came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled back. Who could have done this?” The little boy hollers out, “The Easter bunny?”
On this Easter Sunday I thought it important for us to ask, “What does the Bible say about celebrating Christ’s resurrection?” Here are three important answers from God’s word.
1. When we are baptized we celebrate the resurrection. Baptism is the time and place we identify ourselves with the resurrection of Christ. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:3-5; cf. also Colossians 2:12). Yes, baptism “saves us… through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). In this, we greatly rejoice!
2. When we meet on the first day of the week we celebrate the resurrection. Jesus was raised on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). On that first Sunday of the resurrection He met with the assembled disciples (Luke 24:33, 36). The church of Christ had its beginning at the Feast of Pentecost (Acts 2), which came fifty days after the Sabbath following the Passover and thus always fell on the first day of the week (Leviticus 23). From that time till now Christians have come together on the first day of every week to celebrate the resurrection and worship the risen Lord (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2)!
3. When we live for Jesus each day we celebrate the resurrection. We must demonstrate to the world that we are the people of the resurrection by the lives which we live (Romans 6:4, 11). The tragedy is that many who profess to follow Christ are living as if He were still dead! Colossians 3:1-4 says that those who are “raised with Christ” must “seek those things which are above” because “Christ is our life”. It is not enough merely to believe that a man named Jesus was raised from the dead one Sunday morning twenty centuries ago! Our belief must make a practical difference in our lives: in our basic attitudes, in our values, in the way we treat others, in our daily conduct (vv. 5ff). As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
On a faraway Judean morning two angels greeted a band of women before the door of an empty tomb with the words, “He is not here; For He is risen” (Matthew 28:6). And now we are called to celebrate in that victory! Will you?
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135