It's been exactly a week. Easter Sunday has come and gone.
What did that leave you with?
A sugar low?
A family-time high (well or low...no judgement here...we are all human)?
One of those, though, likely.
Confetti or some sort of glittery mess from Easter-y festive outfits or toys...so much so that you’ll discover it for the next 6 months?
No? Oh, just me.
A stomach bug?
Heard that was going around...yikes!
BUT did it leave you wanting more of Jesus? Better yet: Was Jesus even talked about last Sunday? Or have you thought of Him since? Be honest. Sit in this for a minute. For a holiday celebrating and remembering Jesus, how much of your heart was captured by and stirred for Him during it? For many, there are at least momentary palpitations during the events of Easter, but the reality is often the focus on Him can get lost in our cultural celebrations and busy-ness of the beautiful spring day and all that entails.
For many, if Jesus even makes it onto the scene on Easter, often (and for much of my own life) He doesn’t make it outside of that day, the church walls or dinner-time prayers. Is that you? I don't ask to judge, I ask empathizing because it used to be me, too. I used to somehow keep Him contained to a moment or a day - which in reality is impossible - but when we limit our affections and thoughts toward God to just those tiny moments, we miss out on the life He has for us.
1 Peter 1:13 says it this way: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..."
Without an entire deep dive and study on this passage, I want to focus on what I bolded briefly to encourage our hearts to live in the hope we just celebrated a week ago, a hope that is ANYTHING but contained to a day or church service:
we are born again (made ALIVE, given a new life, it is a NEW thing we experience)
to a living (some synonyms to living: breathing, moving, having life - alive means there's some sort of impact it has on the things it comes into contact with)
hope (expectation, longing, craving - this is a deep-rooted focus we are given that (as above declares) is active and living and has real impact)
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (a hope that is unwavering, living and has an outcome of a brand new life in us doesn't exist without Jesus. There is ONE source of this living hope).
Jesus's resurrection isn’t just about the day, or the idea of it feeling good. It’s about the magnitude and impact that day has on our every single day, our every single moment-to-moment, our every single inter- and intra-personal interactions. That day's impact ripples into every fiber of our lives; it gives us a new life to experience the living God in every moment. We can now walk with Him as our good shepherd, our friend, our Father and comforter. As our defender in a world that is broken and harsh, and wants to tell us to forget about this hope of Easter - not to get too wrapped up in it - because there is life outside of Jesus...but the truth is, there's not life. Not the abundant life God has for us.
The reason I started with the questions is because this new life found in a living God who has conquered the grave...well, none of this happens if we keep Him at arms length. We have to embrace it fully. We are called to live in the victory, but not our own...our victories are what we have to lay down so that through Jesus’s victory:
I am completely forgiven...and can rest.
I am saved from myself....and have strength through Christ in all things.
I am adopted as a child of God...and am fully accepted forever.
I have unwavering hope...and can endure the ups and downs of a broken world.
I have real purpose...and real satisfaction and contentment the world hasn't been able to deliver.
I have joyful freedom...and can live a life free of artificial pressures of this world.
I have peace beyond comprehension...and can have joy in my soul even in suffering.
I have life in Christ...and that is all I need.
His victory is now my victory!
And this isn’t just a feeling or nice thing to say on Easter Sunday: this is my every day. I pray as I finish typing that it is your every day, too.
Pictured: The painting "The Victory" in color series "King". Shop "The Victory" here as a daily reminder of the living hope we have through Christ's resurrection!