The Love of Easter – Easter Reflections

I love Easter… For a Christian it is the apex of our Holidays that celebrate our faith and our Savior. I love that Easter falls in spring and that resurrection life and new life is coming up all around us. I love that much like Christmas, even the world sets aside a day to remember and acknowledge Jesus’ existence and importance in history.
During the week leading up to Easter I often think about the steps Jesus was taking, what he endured, and what my freedom cost. I think about his sham trial, about the beatings and taunts he suffered. I think about the cross he bore and the agonizing death and separation from the Father he faced for me.
Then I think about the joyous and victorious resurrection we celebrate on Sunday morning. Easter Sunday is, and will always be, a day when I can’t wait to be in church so I can worship, celebrate the grave being emptied, and celebrate death’s defeat. Even now, just thinking about the morning of the resurrection fills me with emotions of joy and gratitude. But have you ever thought about Saturday?
On Wednesday this week Pastor Matt asked me if I would be willing to write something that he could share with the body on Saturday. His text said he would like me to write, “Reflections on what Saturday or Easter means to me.” My first thought was, what does Saturday have to do with it? Then in the way God so often does He graciously opened my eyes and spoke to me and said, “Saturday is just as important as the day of crucifixion and the resurrection”.
Saturday in the story of the resurrection is a glorious day.
On Saturday Jesus’ earthly pain and suffering were over. It was calm and still for him. The world was still running about, frantically trying to do what they had always done. For the Jews it was the Sabbath and the Passover, so it was historically a time of rest, but the events of the week had many on edge. For the disciples it was a time of fear and anguish as they had lost their friend and the Messiah. The pharisees were still trying to make sure Jesus’ story was dead with him. Pilate was compelled to place guards at Jesus tomb and to seal it. But for the body of Jesus, it was rest. The battle had been fought; he had followed through with obedience to his Father’s plan. The work was complete, everything now was in the hands of the Father. Jesus knew the prophecy in Psalms 16:10 “You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy one to see decay”. For the body of Jesus and heaven, they just waited.
As I began to understand what God was showing to me there were two main points that spoke to me.
If we are to find true life in Jesus, we must be willing to die to our flesh so we can dwell in His Body. “Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
Far too often, we as believers focus on the death and the crucifixion, without realizing when we die there is rest as we wait for the Father to do his part and bring forth the harvest. Give up the fight and enter His rest. He who seeks to save his life shall lose it but he loses his life for my sake shall keep it.
Saints, let this life go and enter the rest that can be found in the grave.
Today as the world frantically scrambles with disease, distress, and doubt we can be found in the grave with our Lord resting in him, knowing all things are now in the hands of the Father.
What glorious hope that with each passing second, we draw closer to the moment when our Father steps onto the scene and shouts, “Son or daughter come forth!”. Imagine the moment when the things that have guarded your life to control you are vanquished. When the seals of the tomb are broken, and resurrection light comes pouring in.
As I considered what Saturday meant to me, I felt greater expectation and excitement knowing the move of God, resurrection life, was right around the corner. Can you just imagine the anticipation and excitement the hosts of heaven, the Father and the Son felt waiting for the word to be fulfilled and the glorious revelation of a risen Savior and the dawning of a new age?
We are living in that new age. I am sure as you read this many, if not all of us, have areas in our lives where it seems death is reigning, but you need to know you are living in Saturday. You are so close! The darkest hour of death means the dawn is right around the corner. The glorious unfolding of the power of God in your situation is just moments from exploding! Don’t give up! Don’t give in!
As a family at Abundant Life we have been like a body in a grave. For three years we have been on a prophetic mission and this year we turned our focus outward. The present crisis should be an indication the enemy is trying to thwart what God has called us to in this time. I believe with all my heart he won’t succeed because the seals of the tomb are cracking and the first ray of sunlight is cresting the horizon, Saturday is about to become Sunday and a resurrected church is about to come out of the tomb. All creation is groaning for the revelation of the sons and daughters of God. Romans 8:19
Do not despise Saturday it just means Sunday is moments away.
Day turned to night, His friends scattered, and death thought it had won. But heaven just started counting to three.
I love and miss you all. I can’t wait to be reunited with my church family and worship with you.
Steve Byers