As we continue our trip through the church year, it is possible for us to miss the middle of each season and look beyond it to the next beginning. I think this is a very human thing to do: we are always looking to the next event, deadline, vacation, graduation, sports season, etc.
Currently we find ourselves near the half-way point of the Easter season, heading towards the celebrations of Jesus’ Ascension and of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. These are no doubt great days to look forward to; but if we only look forward to the next thing we can miss what is happening right now. We are in the Paschal season celebrating Christ’s victory over that place where we are all heading, which no one wants to talk–or even think–about: the grave.
But Easter is the celebration of Christ’s victory over death, the celebration of the empty grave, the celebration that reminds us: not only did he rise from the dead, he did so in a new, perfect, glorified, resurrection body. And here is the beautiful part for us as we continue through Easter: Jesus is the first fruits and we are promised to be raised just like him.
In Christ death has lost its sting and the grave its victory.
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:50-56
Let’s not skip ahead to the next thing because this is something definitely worth celebrating a little bit longer !
Grace and Peace,