Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:55-58
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
The Easter season is here. No, Easter is not just a day, but a season that the church celebrates. The Easter season runs from Resurrection Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples and the church was born. Today, this first day of Easter, we are reminded that Christ has defeated death and the grave. As believers, we can now experience a new life in Christ, one that keeps Easter all year long.
Easter, the resurrection, is the one event of the Christian faith that the church remembered and celebrated since Christ first rose from the dead. In contrast, Christians did not officially celebrate Christmas Day until the 4th century.
Only two of the Gospels (Matthew and Luke) give accounts of the birth of Jesus. However, all four Gospels give accounts of the resurrection. The Gospels devote a significant number of verses to Jesus death and resurrection because this constitutes the foundation of our Christian faith. Telling about Jesus requires a look back at his life and ministry through eyes that have seen the resurrection.
By celebrating the resurrection of Christ we are also reminded that we are a resurrected people as well. In 1 Corinthians 15:8, Paul reminds us that as a resurrected people we are to “devote ourselves fully to the work of the Lord”. We are to keep Easter in our hearts and to practice being an Easter people all year long.
Even though death has been defeated, we still struggle with the finality of life here on earth. For now, we can only see this side of death but Christ reminds us that this death only involves the body. Paul teaches us that there are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies and that the splendor of the heavenly body is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly body is another.
In our own church family, we have had to contend with death a lot over the last ten days. We have lost church members, parents of church members, and a dear brother in Christ, in Africa. It is always difficult when we lose family, when we lose brothers and sisters in Christ, and when we lose people that spread the Good News that Christ commanded us to do. Words cannot express the deep pain and anguish that we feel, because those people will be greatly missed in this life.
Paul gives us hope and encouragement as he writes further in his letter to the Corinthians. Paul tells us that the resurrection body will be raised imperishable, it will be raised in glory and in power. This new body in Christ will not be an earthly body that will be subjected to sickness and decay. Paul says that it will be raised a spiritual body that will last into eternity.
So during this upcoming week, remind yourselves and those that you encounter, that it is still Easter. Easter is not just a one day event that is forgotten come Monday morning. And although the Easter season lasts until Pentecost Sunday, Easter must still be at the forefront of our thoughts all year long. As believers in Christ, we are an Easter people and we believe and know that Christ has defeated death and the grave forever. Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen indeed!
Source Used: For Everything, A Season. A Study of the Liturgical Calendar, Kathleen Long Bostrom