Eastertide: Celebrating Life After Resurrection

He is not here, but has risen. Luke 24:5I didn’t notice. I should have been aware since my mother changed the embroidered cloths on the pulpit and altar table each season. Did you know they’re called paraments? I didn’t. Did you know the color represents the church season? I didn’t.

White. The paraments are white for Easter.

Distracted by the lily scented sanctuary, joyfully packed pews, new pastel dresses and patent leather shoes, I didn’t notice the pure white cloths. Traditional churches adorn their pulpits, lecterns and altar tables in white for almost two months beginning on Easter. The Easter season, also called Eastertide, lasts 50 days from Resurrection Sunday until Pentecost, the Greek word for 50th.

While the Catholic tradition recognizes Eastertide more than others, I believe all followers of Jesus can benefit. It is the season of resurrection, of remembering what Jesus did for us on the cross, remembering the empty tomb, and celebrating what Jesus’ death and resurrection means in our lives.

Why limit the party to one day each year? A celebration of this caliber is too great for one day! 

The empty tomb is cause for celebration. We are Resurrection People.

Resurrection People die and come back to life. We recognize the love of the Father who gave His Son. We recognize the love of the Son who gave His life. We realize that our brokenness prevents us from living fully and so we accept His proffered love. We give our lives to Him. We die to ourselves. And God raises us to new life.

We were buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4

Every judgmental and vengeful thought, every unkind word and misdeed, every guilt-laden weight in your soul dies with Jesus who carried them on the cross. And as Jesus is resurrected to life, we too are given new life. Life in relationship with God that was previously impossible. Life with the power of Jesus residing within us. Life with the Holy Spirit shaping us to become more and more the humans God intended, more and more in God’s image, more and more like Jesus.

A baggage-free fresh start! Celebrate resurrection life? You betcha!

The women ran from the tomb to tell the disciples. Peter and John ran back to the tomb to see for themselves. After meeting Jesus face-to-face, Thomas proclaimed Jesus as Lord. The two disciples traveling to Emmaus returned to Jerusalem the same night to share their Jesus sighting.

Hundreds of people encountered the resurrected Jesus over the next 40 days. Imagine each person’s amazed disbelief as they juxtaposed recent events with their well-known scriptures and expectations. The truth of the resurrection hit them. Jesus is alive just as He said He would be. Jesus took all that the world could throw at Him and lives again. Jesus defeated death and evil.

There is no death with Christ, only life.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human, for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:20-22

The first Resurrection People didn’t completely comprehend the world-changing implications of Jesus death and resurrection as we do. We have a broader view of Christ’s work on the cross. Preachers and teachers have pieced together the theology, our clean slate, our fresh start, our life with the Spirit of Christ dwelling within us, shaping us into flourishing humans, and empowering us to use our gifts boldly.

New birth is cause for celebration!

Can you grasp the amount of love required to accomplish your rebirth? No, because it is beyond understanding. The truth is that Jesus, the crucified man, the resurrected Lord, loves you.

And I pray that you … grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.
Ephesians 3:17-19

I pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead. Eph 1:19-20We are Resurrection People with the power of Christ in us.

You may find it hard to believe, but it is true.

Resurrection People: 

  • Have a zest for life because death has lost its sting.
  • Tirelessly use their new life to glorify God
  • Spread His love so others can enjoy the same human flourishing.
  • Cherish their relationship with God made possible by Jesus’ death.
  • Willingly surrender their own desires for those of the Father.

Your turn:

  • Reflect on the empty tomb and the difference it makes in your life. Revive the sense of new life, hope, and joy that resurrection people know. Receive God’s loving forgiveness and extend the same grace to those around you.
  • Challenge yourself to extend God’s grace in your daily life. Whether through acts of kindness, forgiveness, or sharing God’s proffered love with someone who needs it, make a conscious effort to live out the transformed life of a resurrected person.

There’s so much more:

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