Spring is my favorite time of the year. Along with seeing signs of new life all around us, there is much to look forward to with the summer months ahead. As you know, the start of spring also coincides with the Easter season. Easter is sometimes called the highpoint of the Christian calendar, and for good reason as we remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is my desire that this would be a meaningful and reflective time in your life. But I hope and pray for more than that. I trust that as we gaze upon our Savior, that it might act as a reflective mirror upon our lives. It would be a terrible thing if upon seeing the One who was “pierced for our transgressions,” who “was crushed for our iniquities,” and who “by his wounds we are healed,” (Isaiah 53:5) we weren’t led into a spirit of repentance. To simply gloss through Easter without doing the serious work of self-examination would be an exercise in “missing the point.”
To be sure, there is great joy that comes with the season. But this joy comes as a direct result of knowing what we have been delivered from. “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). The Christian can rejoice in the saving work of Christ on our behalf, knowing that “if we have died with Christ, that we will also live with Him” (Romans 6:8). The cross brings life and the cross brings joy. But just to piggy-back on Paul’s argument from that same chapter, “Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)
Just so you don’t misunderstand what I am saying, the work of self-examination is not just a yearly thing that takes place at Easter. Nor is it a monthly activity that happens when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Nor is it a weekly thing that occurs during the Sunday service. Rather, self-examination is a daily practice that is entirely necessary if we are to maintain a vibrant relationship with Christ. As we read the Scriptures and commune with God day by day, we are forced to examine our lives. But the Easter season does allow us to reflect upon our walk with the Lord in a special way. It reminds us that there is life in death. It reminds us that Christ was our substitute on the cross, enduring the tremendous punishment that we all deserve. It reminds us that “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). And it reminds us that access to God is only through faith and repentance.
The worst thing that could happen this Easter season is for us to forget the cross and the empty tomb and how that relates to our lives. O we Christians know the story – we’ve heard it many times before. But has the power of the cross really taken hold of your life? It must! Let me leave you with these powerful words: “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12). Glory be to God!