When we are especially happy about something in our lives, or rejoicing in a landmark event, our impulse is to gather family, friends, and community and Celebrate! One of the oldest records we have of a celebration is when the Israelites escaped from
, and we even have a copy of the song they sang (Exodus 15). Moses had told them to remember this experience, celebrate it each year, and use the commemoration to pass the story down to their descendants (Exodus 13). Egypt
Fifteen hundred years later, Jesus was sharing this celebration with his followers, and adding to the old story a new meaning: that He would become the Lamb and would save people not from their political oppressors but from slavery to sin and death.
What we celebrate this upcoming Sunday morning is the real proof of God
's power to save: that Jesus himself was delivered from Death and arose on a Sunday morning in triumph. This has been the central message of His Church for almost two thousand years.
This is the Sunday that even people who usually don
't go to church often come to church. However, this celebration is no longer a big deal in our community at large. I think that it is partly a desire to not face the central message of this day: that if you really take a good look at what is being celebrated--and do believe it really happened, it demands something important of you. The ancient Israelites had 1500 years to follow the laws and commandments given through Moses, and Jesus came to say that they had failed to approach the goodness of God by their own efforts. We have to recognize that we can only become fit for the presence of God through the grace and mercy of God as it came through what happened on those three days we celebrate now.
But we not only celebrate Jesus
' death and Resurrection on Easter Sunday, we gather with families and friends in a community of faith each Sunday in commemoration of that unique Sunday morning. We share our joy, our worship, our prayers and His Presence as we Celebrate how He has changed our lives forever.