Every year at this time, the rituals are renewed.
People across America, and hopefully elsewhere in the world, slip on what was once known as their “Sunday best,” men tie those neckties (or clip them on – we don’t judge), and head on in to church.
They come for a variety of reasons. For some, Easter is something to be dreaded, a perfunctory item to check off their annual to-do list, perhaps to appease a mom or dad who insists on their family members darkening the door of a church at least once a year. For others, they may not even remember why they come; it’s just something they feel like they need to do to justify the moniker “Christian” they like to wear the other 364 days of the year.
For those who truly believe, however, Easter and the high holy days that precede it are a time of celebration, a time of remembering what our Jesus did for us. While Christmas lays claim, in the grand scope of God’s plan for humanity, it is Easter that ranks as the most wonderful time of the year.
We know the significance Easter is one of the easiest times of the year to persuade friends, family, neighbors, even the barista at the local coffee shop or the cashier at the local big box store, to join you for a Sunday morning in church.
Truly, the Easter season serves as the most well-paved pathway throughout the year to bring to Jesus those who may not know him, or who need to know him better.
But if that’s where it ends, we are sadly missing the point. For the story of Easter, of the final days of Christ’s first corporeal trip to Earth doesn’t actually involve anyone being brought to Jesus.
Rather, it involves Jesus being brought to everyone.
It begins outside the city of Jerusalem, as Jesus, mounted on a donkey, and accompanied by his disciples, makes his entry into the city chosen by God out of all the cities of the world to put His Name, and His temple.
Along the road, as word of his arrival spreads, people throng his path, the Bible tells us, throwing their cloaks and palm branches on the ground before the feet of his donkey, lining the road and singing and shouting praise to God and their coming Messiah.
Essentially, the Bible tells us, these worshippers created a highway for their king to enter into his kingdom.
We know what happened next. Jesus was betrayed, delivered up to his enemies, and ultimately beaten, tortured and crucified by Romans on a cross of wood. But the grave would not contain him, and he rose victorious three days later, offering us life and a path to redemption, back to the Father God who created us! Hallelujah! Praise His Name!
And in the years that followed, Jesus’ followers extended the highway that began on that first Palm Sunday 2,000 years ago, carrying Jesus to all people, everywhere, making disciples throughout the world, in a never-ending chain that stretches to the present day.
So, today, as we near the commemoration of those blessed events, the holiest and most joyous, wonderful days in all of history, let us continue that work.
God has called us to work, to pray and to invite, to lay ourselves down, as it were, on his path, to extend the highway and smooth the way for Jesus to enter our homes, our families, our schools, workplaces, and our communities, to bring life and light, restoration, healing and deliverance to all who need a touch from his hand.
This Easter, allow the life-giving power of the resurrection transform your heart and renew your mind, as we work together, one step, one soul at a time, to introduce everyone around us to this blessed hope we know, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hosanna! He is Risen, indeed!