29 March 2013 by Timothy Tai CM –
This weekend, an estimated two billion Christians all across the world will celebrate the single most important event in history: the death and resurrection of God’s one and only Son Jesus Christ. Apart from attending an Easter service at church, how else will you be celebrating this sacred weekend? Have you ever thought about how Jesus would want us to celebrate Easter?
Here are 3 thoughts based on Jesus’ teachings on how we can make this Easter a meaningful one:
1. By serving and loving each other
We all know how Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper the night before he was crucified. That’s why we regularly celebrate it in our church services up to today: to remind ourselves of the sacrifice that he made for us. However, Jesus did more than just start a new “tradition” that night.
John 13 tells us about how our Lord assumed the role of a lowly servant and did something totally unthinkable – he washed his disciples’ feet. He then explained to his disciples that they were to follow his example and serve one another just as he had served them. When supper was over, Jesus turned to them once again and said:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34 (NIV)
This Easter, let’s look for ways that we can serve and love those around us. If Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords came not to be served but to serve others, how much more then should we go all out to serve everyone around us?
2. By forgiving those who have wronged us
Time and time again throughout the gospels, Jesus would teach about forgiveness. In Matthew 6:14-15 for example, Jesus taught that if we forgive other people whenever they sin against us then our heavenly Father will also forgive us. On the contrary, if we do not forgive others their sins, then God our Father will not forgive us our sins. Then when Peter came to Jesus in Matthew 18:21-22 and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Even after he had been whipped, mocked, spat upon and cruelly nailed to the cross, Jesus still prayed:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:34 (NIV)
And let’s not forget how our Savior lovingly restored his disciple Peter who famously denied him three times the night that he was captured!
What if this Easter, we really obeyed Jesus and contacted the people who have hurt/betrayed/cheated us and told them that we forgave them? Imagine the amazing freedom that we would experience in our lives after being set free of all bitterness and resentment. And imagine the kind of testimony that we would be to them and the glory that we would bring to God by doing so.
3. By spending time with Him and thanking Him
In Luke 17, we read about how Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem when he encountered ten men with leprosy and they cried out to him for pity. He told them to show themselves to the priests and so they did. As they were on their way, they were all miraculously healed but only one of them (a Samaritan, in fact) came back to Jesus and praised God in a loud voice. In fact, the bible tells us that he “threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.”
Listen to Jesus’ response:
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” – Luke 17:17-19 (NIV)
Whatever you do and however else you might decide to celebrate this Easter, just remember to make some time and do the most important thing of all: spend time with Jesus and thank Him for dying for us on the cross.
Have a blessed Easter!
Note: Timothy grew up in Kuching and worked in KL before jumping off the corporate ladder in 2006. He moved to New York City where he served at an inner-city kids ministry for almost 6 years. He has since returned to KL and has just married his Irish fiancee Sarah.
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