What Difference does Easter Make?

Have you ever wondered what difference Easter makes?  All this fuss over bunnies and eggs might well make you wonder why an “institution” like Easter has persisted for nearly two thousand years.  But the real Easter is not about candy.  It’s about resurrection.  In his book, “The Jesus I Never Knew”, Philip Yancey describes the impact of the resurrection like this: “That Jesus succeeded in changing a snuffling band of unreliable followers into fearless evangelists, that eleven men who had deserted him at death now went to martyrs’ graves avowing their faith in a resurrected Christ, that these few witnesses managed to set loose a force that would overcome violent opposition first in Jerusalem and then in Rome — this remarkable transformation offers the most convincing evidence [of all] for the Resurrection…  Others — at least fifteen Jews within a hundred years of Jesus — had [all] made claims to be the Messiah, only to flare and fade like a series of dying stars. But, with Jesus, this didn’t happen. Something else happened, something beyond all precedent.”  Something that Yancey describes as being of “seismic significance”… Something that, he says, produced a “whiplash change” in the disciples.

Imagine what it would mean to your life to discover, in some totally incontrovertible way, that death was not the end. Imagine what it would mean to your faith to see your worst nightmare ever come true, and then have God undo it right before your eyes. Or imagine what it would mean to discover that behind this more obvious world of sight and sound, there was another, more hidden realm — a realm where prayer’s effects were always evident — a realm where God was always at work, patiently pulling strings, whispering in people’s ears, working towards the fulfilment of some previously unrecognized plan. Or imagine that you became convinced that nothing could separate you from the love of God. Nothing in your past. Nothing in your present. Nothing in your future. Not any earthly power. Not any supernatural power. Not any expanse of time or space. Not even death itself…. Instead, imagine that you became convinced that, in all these things, you could be victorious — with nothing more to fear. Imagine that you became convinced, in your heart of hearts, that in every circumstance of life, God was actually working for your good. Wouldn’t that dramatically change they way that you lived? Wouldn’t that dramatically alter the way that you approached tomorrow?

That’s what Easter is about.