Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Importance of Easter Season in the Gospel

In winter trees lose their leaves, wise gardeners prune the branches of their trees, shrubs, and vines in order to survive the harsh cold of frost that kills. Animals enter their long sleep of temporary death, wild things retreat into the earth, and the Son of Man enters into the grave in the calendar of Christianity--the once for all sacrifice remembered.

It is as certain as Scripture that Christ's death was a once for all sacrifice for sin, and that His resurrection from the dead was the first fruits of a general resurrection of the Cosmos, including the microcosmic Man. It is just as certain that this one act has both eternal and temporal significance, stretching from before the Creation of the World into the Everlasting Kingdom, impinging upon, nay imbuing, every facet of God's activity with Resurrection Power and Authority.

It is no accident that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ came in the season of Spring, nor is it accidental that the Church has long commemorated and celebrated the Resurrection as a season rather than as a singular day. Resurrection declares God's victory over death and the reclamation of His Kingdom from the usurpation of Satan, who was given dominion over the kingdom for a time in the wake of Adam's abdication and insurrection. Winter, in which all things die, culminates in the death of the Last Adam, the descent into Hell wherein the conquering Christ wrests the keys of the kingdom from the usurper and restores them to the right hand of God Almighty after preparing His generals to herald His victory to all nations, proclaiming their release and demanding their fidelity.

There is a sense in which the proof of the Resurrection is imbedded in Creation, and that the obvious resurrection of life in the cycle of Spring is the crying out of the rocks that Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! The welling up of life under the earth that bursts forth into lush greens, radiant whites, vermillion reds, cerulean blues, resplendent purples, and the life are the silent praises of the earth. The gestating life of the wombs and eggs of the animals break free from their tombs and cry out to the world "I'm alive!" and this is the audible praise to the Risen King.

When Christians look at the world, we are all too human. We see ourselves, and often times we see in the life of unbelievers immanent Falls and barren Winters. The cycle of sin knows no Spring, and we have not yet entered into the eternal Summer, where the Sun reigns supreme over the earth and casts out all shadow, all chills, and brings the life of Spring into full maturity. When we see with the eyes of Creation, which through its unending cycles of life, maturation, decay, and death groans for the rest of unending fructification--when we see through the eyes of Creation we inhabit the very Gospel proclamation. All the life of Spring is the image of the life that Jesus brings in His reign. Only men in love with death can deny the joys of life that Spring affords. Only men blind can fail to see that the life of Spring is the life of the Resurrection, no longer something longed for, but something witnessed, testified to, signed, sealed, and delivered unto men by a Heavenly, Reigning, King. There is only faith, hope, and love for the People of God--there is no more the darkness of ignorance, no more the fearful waiting for deliverance.

The Sun rises in the East; it is the Easter of our Lord and Christ, and He comes in power through His people, a foretaste of the power He shall bring when He comes again to usher in the Feast of eternal Summer! Bow down, O Church, and rise! Bow down, O World, lest you perish! "Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!"

Open our eyes, O God, to see! Open our ears, O God, to hear! Open our mouths, O God, to speak! Let us see in all that You have done, all that Christ has done, and all that He is doing now and into tomorrow, that we may join the dance of flowers and fauns, the songs of birds and baboons, the quiet and clamorous worship of a Risen God and King!

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