Easter and The Resurrection
Thoughts of Easter always take us back to a single moment in time–that day in history when Jesus defeated death and rose again. But we actually see the message of Easter tracing all the way back to Creation.
We see it represented in the garden, when God taught Adam how to work the land. God created and supplied an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and grains for Adam and his family to eat, all foods that bore seeds within them. The seeds alone could do nothing themselves to reproduce or create new life. They needed to experience a literal death and burial into the ground before Adam could watch them sprout and demonstrate the beginning of life. We still continue to observe this miracle of death, burial, and resurrection take place on farmlands, fields, and flowerbeds all over the world. First as a foreshadowing, now as a constant reminder of what Christ did for us.
Or just watch as God’s simple little creature, the caterpillar, goes through complete metamorphosis. He buries himself within his own cocoon, surrendering his life as a caterpillar, emerging a week or two later from the cocoon as a completely different creature. A mysterious beauty that cannot exist without a caterpillar dying to self and wrapping up tightly inside a cocoon for the transformation process to take place.
I remember as a very young child learning about the story of Jonah being swallowed by the big fish. A man who tried to run away from God, too scared and appalled by the task God put in front of him to preach to the Ninevites. Jonah didn’t physically die when the sailors threw him overboard (at his own request because he knew his sin had put the entire ship in danger). Instead, he spent three days and nights in the belly of a big fish. Though dead to the rest of the world, God planned to resurrect his life by forcing the fish to spit him out. With that “resurrection”, Jonah finally repented and obeyed God. He finished his task, and an entire city repented of its sin and experienced the miracle of new life.
Little did Jonah know his story foreshadowed a more horrific death and burial, followed by the most glorious resurrection of all. Jesus’ death on a cross. His burial. And His ultimate victory against death. Because Jesus obeyed God, His Father, by fully surrendering His life, He finished the task put before Him. Now we can freely repent of our sin, die to ourselves, and experience the miracle of new life in Christ.
Today the miracle of Easter still lives on in our daily lives. Not only is our salvation a representation of that Easter message, but every time we die to self, it gives God access to the parts of our lives we need to die to and bury in order for Him to resurrect something new within us. Death is such a hard reality, but without it, we miss the miracle of resurrection. The seed could not remain in its seed form. The caterpillar could not continue to live as a caterpillar. Jonah could no longer refuse to obey God. The old must go so the new can come (2 Corinthians 5:17)
What, my friend, are you still holding onto in life that you need to bury in the ground so that God can bring about something new in its place? If you’ve already experienced that death and burial, keep waiting. A glorious resurrection is surely coming.