It is the Monday morning after Easter. I hope you all had a glorious Easter Sunday celebrating the resurrection of our Lord. I hope you had the opportunity to attend a church service. Our church was overflowing at each service, and I suppose your church was full also. Maybe the music was glorious, and moved you as you thought about the amazing sacrifice our Lord made for our sins. Maybe you got together with family and friends, everyone decked out in Easter finery. I imagine there was good food, flowers, and children with Easter baskets, looking for eggs.
But today is Monday. Most of us had to get up and go back to our normal routines. Maybe it’s another Monday of fighting traffic and getting into the Monday morning work grind. If you are a student, it is probably back to school, with finals looming around the corner. Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom with a busy day ahead. The dishwasher and the washing machine are running, you are picking up Easter grass and candy wrappers, and mentally making a grocery list. Easter is in the books for another year. What does it have to do with my Monday?
I was eighteen when I received Christ as my Savior. I knew I was a sinner, and I was grateful, so grateful, that through His death I could be forgiven. I believed that I would go to Heaven when I died. And that was it. I compartmentalized that event and got on with my life. It was about five years later when Jesus began to woo me into a Bible-teaching church. It was there that I began to realize the claim that Jesus had on my life…my entire life, not just my Easter Sunday life. And I also learned the rest of the story. Christ didn’t just save me and leave me to navigate this life on my own. There are so many benefits to Easter in addition to salvation that I’m sure I will only scratch the surface naming them. But even if salvation was the only gift, that would be amazing, incredible, and so much more than I deserve!
- The first benefit that comes to mind is the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we receive Christ, His Spirit comes to dwell in us. Think of it…the third person of the Trinity living in me! I talk to Him all day long. And He talks to me though I don’t always listen, and sadly, do not always obey. He guides my steps, He comforts me, and He interprets God’s word to me. He leads me in my daily decisions. If I need to buy a new air conditioner, He has ideas about that. If I am worried about my children, He reminds me that there is One who cares about them even more than I do. When I am concerned about the future, He assures me that He is in control.
- Access to the throne of God. He hears my prayers. Because of Christ’s death I have been reconciled to God. We are no loner enemies. And because that temple veil was torn from top to bottom, I can go straight to Him in prayer. At any time, on any day. I do not need a human mediator because I have a High Priest who sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for me. I have the amazing privilege of prayer, and I confess that I am not very diligent about it. It is very hard for me to sit for an hour (or even a half hour) and pray. But I am really good at carrying on a continual conversation with the Lord. We talk all day long.
- Death is not final. I have the peace of knowing that when my appointment with death comes, I will slip from this life into the next. And I will be reunited with family and friends who have passed before. How I look forward to that! Sometimes I ask God to deliver a message from me to them. I’m not sure that is scriptural, but I do it anyway.
- The church. I have fellowship with other believers. There is nothing like the body of Christ! Not only can you share spiritual things, what God is doing in your life, and prayer concerns, but also your church family cares about your practical needs and will rally around you in days of trouble, sorrow, or joy. Church ladies excel at casseroles and pies!
- There are many more benefits, but I just want to name one more big one: The Bible. What would I do without the Word? It is full of God’s promises, it comforts me, and it is “a lamp unto my feet.” The Bible is the main way God speaks to me. It is the story of redemption, for Genesis to Revelation. And even though I’ve read it many times, it is always new! I will never completely plumb the depths of God’s Word.
So today, as you are putting away the things of Easter, the dinnerware, the clothes, the baskets and bunnies, I hope you will put on all that Christ offers you because of Easter. As you go about your workday, on your commute to work or school, as you face the trials of this world, I hope you realize there is One who wants to be a part of every facet of your life. I hope you can celebrate Easter 365 days a year. He is risen. Hallelujah.