Friday, April 10, 2009

The Ecstasy of Easter, or a Substitute Stimulation?

It's Easter time! A fun time! Time for bunnies and colored eggs and Easter parades! But in all of our fun celebrations, we've lost the true ecstasy of Easter.

Those who truly know Christ--those who live in His resurrection power--know that Easter is far more than a holiday to celebrate bunny rabbits. Easter is a glorious time--a time to fully realize the energy, the vitality, the full life that is ours in Christ. Easter is a time to celebrate that the unfathomable power of God--the limitless dynamic life-giving radiance of the eternal Creator of the universe--the sublime, supreme glory of God--is alive in us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we truly understood this--if we could absorb this truth into the core of our being--then we would know the ecstasy of Easter. We would know the joy, the elation, the bliss, the rapture of resurrection. We would feel--truly FEEL the power that raised Christ from the dead now dwelling in us (Romans 8:11).

Instead, we have chosen to celebrate the day with a substitute stimulation.

Everybody loves chocolate. I'm talking about the GOOD chocolate, not that cheap stuff you get from China. Not only do we love the way chocolate tastes--we love the way chocolate makes us feel. Science tells us that chocolate releases endorphins in the brain--the same endorphins that make us feel loved. That's why we want chocolate when we're upset. It brings comfort, and a momentary sense of happiness.

For some reason, we've decided to associate chocolate with Easter. Chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, chocolate baby chickens (go figure). We've replaced the true ecstasy of Easter with a substitute stimulation. Is it because, as Jessep says in A Few Good Men, we can't handle the truth? We'd rather reduce the elation of Easter to chemical stimulation?

Instead, may we pray the prayer that Paul prayed for us, and come to the understanding of our identity in Christ that we find in in Ephesians 1:17-23 (CEV)

I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God. My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God's people. I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side in heaven. There Christ rules over all forces, authorities, powers, and rulers. He rules over all beings in this world and will rule in the future world as well. God has put all things under the power of Christ, and for the good of the church he has made him the head of everything. The church is Christ's body and is filled with Christ who completely fills everything.

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