A Personal Easter
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Holy Week is arguably the most emotional week of the year for Christians. It starts with Christ’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, goes through his last meal with his disciples and his betrayal on Maundy or Holy Thursday, his brutal crucifixion and death on Good Friday, and his physical resting in the tomb on Black or Holy Saturday. Which then brings us to Easter Sunday and the empty tomb. Oh, the empty tomb.
Where do we even begin?
Eric Butterworth wrote about the resurrection in his book Discover the Power Within You. He calls the chapter: “The Great Demonstration,” referring to Jesus demonstrating his true Divinity by resurrecting his physical body after death. He starts off by imagining how the headlines in the Jerusalem Daily News would have read that day:
“Nazarene’s Tomb Found Empty!”
He imagines the front page editorial reading like this:
“Last Friday the city of Jerusalem witnessed what we believe will go down in history as one of the most bizarre spectacles of all time. A simple preacher from the country was nailed to a cross as a common thief. Everywhere people were asking themselves, WHY? How could this have happened in this country and in these times?...And today there is a mysterious sequel to the story. The prophet’s tomb has been found empty. What does this empty tomb mean?”
What does it mean?
That is the question the world was left to think about and we are still left to consider today. We’ve been told this story again and again. We’ve read it again and again. Christians celebrate Easter every year. Believing in this story is something we might come to in different ways, from different paths.
One scripture version of the story has Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene just outside the empty tomb. Mary got to SEE Jesus. He calls her by name, and it’s then that she recognizes him. Maybe this made her belief in his resurrection a little easier. We know that saying: seeing is believing. Most of us don’t have the luxury of that experience of seeing Jesus for ourselves, but we can still come to know and believe in our own way.
I wonder though, is it enough to simply say, yes—I believe this story? I think we do ourselves a disservice if we think this is just a story about a man, Jesus, the Nazarene, a preacher and teacher who considered himself to be one with his Heavenly Father, one with God. We must never forget that we are a part of the story, too. We can and should contemplate deeply what Easter means for us as individuals and our personal relationship with God.
The message of the resurrection of Christ is one of hope, love, new life, empowerment, and most of all possibility. The possibility of all things—the possibility of overcoming all things. Yes, many believe Christ was and is the Son of God, and in resurrecting himself and bringing his body back to life, he was demonstrating his Divinity. Certainly! But remember, a spark of that divinity also rests in you, as a child of God.
Easter is not just a day when we recall how Jesus rose from the dead, but it is a time to recognize and develop our own innate divinity, to commit to fulfilling our own divine purpose. We must shed this antiquated notion that we are somehow unworthy and separate from our divine creator God and separate from the story of Christ’s resurrection.
Maybe the true message of Easter is for us to consider our part in the story, to consider that we, too, can achieve unity with our highest self. We can master our human experience through our own awakening and rise to embody our spiritual consciousness.
I ask you, on this Easter Sunday, what is possible for your life? What is possible for your health? For your relationships? For your prosperity and abundance? This is a blessed time of rebirth, renewal, and reawakening for us all. I invite you to contemplate your possibilities faithfully, reverently, and joyfully. Let the great I Am come alive and arise in you.
As we celebrate the resurrection, I ask God to awaken us to our new life. May Spirit graciously remind us of our role in the story, and may our experience be Holy. Amen.