I get the feeling that Easter is misunderstood, because we celebrate it as if it is as “National Try Harder Day.”
For example, when we give kids Easter candy we don’t drop it in a bucket when they ring the doorbell. That would be like Halloween and Halloween is the arch nemesis of Easter.
We disperse Easter candy in tightly sealed plastic eggs that are hidden far away from children. The kids must “hunt” their way to egg-protected candy. They have to earn it.
Try harder, kids. This is Easter.
And even kids trapped in grown-up bodies have to try a lot harder on Easter. Adults celebrate with something called brunch, which is just breakfast preceded with starvation.
Get hungry, folks. Wait until lunchtime to have breakfast, because this is Easter,
Even churches change their service times on Easter weekend. Suddenly 8am or 10am services aren’t early enough. On Easter Sunday, churches roll out the sunrise service, where the truly devout fellowship in the dark.
This means that by the time most of us wake up, someone else has already lapped us on church attendance. Twice.
They are the ones trying the hardest of all.
But trying doesn’t always get me closer to Jesus, sometimes it just makes me feel less like Him. Trying humbles me. I come to Him with a need rather than an offering and eventually realize that the two are just different names for the same thing.
Perhaps we try hard but for the wrong reasons, searching for eggs we assume are hidden because anything as good as free grace must be hard to find. Maybe we cheat ourselves out of restoration when we assume it’s up to us.
The truth is that Christ redeemed us without our help.
He already declared the task “finished.”
And that makes us completely forgiven.
I’ve been thinking about this all week, about the beauty of the cross and resurrection, about why it is necessary to linger on the Gospel every single day, and why it’s necessary to celebrate it at least once a year.
I realized that there are a lot of people like me, ones who trick themselves into thinking they are only ‘almost’ forgiven.
But ‘almost’ forgiven is not a thing with God.
To an eternal God, nothing is unresolved.
So I think that’s why it is important to come together on Easter, to remind ourselves and each other that we are forgiven.
We are His, not because we are trying to be, but because He sent His son to make sure we were.
This is Easter.