First off, I took this picture several years ago in southern France (Nice). I was walking through the remains of a very old stone fortress. As the sun burst into the darkness, I was reminded that there was once a dark morning and empty tomb that exploded with light. It created a moment of awe, thankfulness, and joy. This week and weekend provides us a great opportunity to reflect on and rejoice in that weekend two-thousand years ago.
But even for us as Christians, it’s easy to spend more time focusing on the holidays than the meaning behind those holidays. Usually with Easter, there are travel plans, cleaning, meals to make, and candy to buy. This year, a lot of that has changed and Easter will have a bit of a bittersweet flavor as so many of us celebrate alone. Hopefully, even this reminds us this is not forever but we have true and living hope that separation, fear, sickness, and death does not have the ultimate say. Jesus–the one who conquered the grave, reigns from heaven, and will soon return–has the ultimate say.
But even during this season of sheltering in our home and social-distancing, we might not be meditating on the wonderful realities of the cross, resurrection, and ascension. Maybe we’re disappointed so we’re sort of checking out of the Easter season this year. Or maybe with all the work to care for kids in the home and complete work at various hours you don’t feel like you have margin for reflecting on what this weekend is about. We’re all tempted with these things and it’s easy to let Christmas or Easter come and go without feeling the force of the realities they represent.
My (likely obvious) encouragement is to not let that happen. To help set our minds on the reality of the cross, resurrection, and ascension (which is connected to resurrection, even if it’s a month away), below are a few of the articles I’ve written on these topics. I hope one of them can remind us that we have reason to celebrate this weekend. You can also do activities as a family to talk about the truths of this weekend.
The Cross (Good Friday)
The Empty Tomb (Easter, Resurrection Sunday)
The Past, Present, and Future Realities of the Resurrection
The Cross is Central but Incomplete
The Throne (Ascension)
Celebrating Ascension Day: 4 Things Jesus is Doing Right Now