Easter is confusing. In many ways we are left scratching our head.
When is Easter? First, it is not a fixed point in our calendar. Each year the date of Easter Sunday changes. Some years we celebrate Easter in March. Other years it shifts to April as it does this year. Whether you are in the church or in the secular world, the date of Easter Sunday messes with your life and schedule. It throws you off balance. The schedule depends upon the moon and scientific terms like vernal equinox. The spring seasons shift and make us confused. It is the similar feeling I have toward daylight savings time. We are left wondering if this is really necessary?!? Who can do something about it? A confusing mystery is what we find.
Why Easter? Because it does leave us off balance. It should leave us wondering what is going on.
Next Easter confuses us because we cannot fully understand unless we learn about a man’s death that happened about two thousand years ago. The man was not the Easter bunny. The man was Jesus. He did not die because of Easter eggs. This has nothing to do with chocolate.
The church tells the story and reenacts the story of Jesus. We remember how he came to Earth. He taught. He died an awe-full, terrible death on a cross. This is confusing. We don’t understand or fully realize why God would do that to one man he called his Son.
The sacrifice is completely contrary to what we know and see in our world. Isn’t it all about me and what I get and what I should become? Isn’t life all about it my pursuit of happiness? Why should I care about others? What did they ever do for me?
Why Easter? Easter is a confusing act of redemption. Easter calls us to hear that we should give ourselves for others. Jesus gave his life. He gave his life to show that God wants the world to know the way, the truth and the life. When we give ourselves to others, we die to our selfish ways. We die to our greed, our lust, our anger, our self-centered ways.
Easter is confusing.
Easter is a mystery. We don’t understand how the man that died came back to life.
It leaves us speechless to hear that Jesus came back from the dead. Resurrection is not something that can be proven scientifically. We can’t understand it rationally.
Modern medicine has given doctors many ways to make life last longer. Doctors have ways of bringing people back death when cardiovascular failures happen. Cancer treatments help to fight and prolong life. We know of people that have survived.
Sometimes these treatments work. Sometimes these do not. We are confused. We have lots of questions and wonderings. Why not my husband? Why can’t my child survive with treatment?
We find ourselves feeling like the loved ones of Lazarus at the tomb. We say Lord if you had been here they would not have died.
Easter is a mystery. Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
We celebrate that in Jesus new life is found. New life is here on this earth. New life is found beyond this life.
When we believe in Jesus we hold onto that promise that new life is there for us. Something is happening. We can see it. We can feel it. We place our hope and trust in the miracle of the resurrection.
This is the glorious mystery of Easter.
This is why Easter! God reveals to us something beyond our confusion.
We can have that peace that is beyond our human understanding.
This is what we celebrate! This is our hope! This is why Easter!
Reverend Kyle Kiner is currently serving as Lead Pastor of Henryetta First United Methodist church. Kyle is married to Jennie and they have two children. He enjoys playing golf and watching premier Star Wars movies in 3D with Rev. Matt Franks.