One of the blogs I've started following in the last year is My Friend Amy. Every Saturday, Amy posts a question for Faith 'n' Fiction Saturday. And multiple weeks, I've thought about joining. But this week, I actually am. The topic? Easter.
For the last few years, I've been thinking about how Easter seems to be short shafted, at least in my church at the time and my circle of friends. This was really brought home to me one Easter Sunday morning. I went to church ready to worship the risen Savior, only to have almost all the songs the choir did be about his death. The last song was an Easter song, and I left thinking, "But this was supposed to be an Easter service."
So I've long been on a soap box about how the church seems to short change Easter in favor of Good Friday.
Now don't get me wrong, I know exactly how important both days are. But it seems to really have hit me this year.
Let's start by thinking about what each day represents. Good Friday is when Jesus died on the cross, taking the punishment for our sins. It's that sacrifice that frees us from the power and penalty of our sins. Pretty important stuff.
Easter Sunday is the day Jesus rose from the grave, crushing death. As Paul says in I Corinthians, if Jesus had not risen, we'd have no hope for a resurrection ourselves. Think about it. Without the hope of Heaven, why live life in view of the next one? This is all we get, so eat drink and be merry.
So, as you can see, both are very important.
But let's think about what one means without the other.
Okay, so I pretty much already gave my Good Friday no Easter speech. Our sins are forgiven! Wonderful! So we deny ourselves the momentary pleasures of sin here on Earth. Yes, we don't have to face the consequences of our sin (which is always a good thing). But there's no future for us.
And Easter without Good Friday? That's just as depressing. Yes, Jesus conquers death. But that does us no good because we will die in our sins and be separated from God forever. After all, "There is none righteous."
So we really do need both. And we as Christians need to balance both. Jesus died to pay the penalty for my sins. And He rose again to prove He has conquered death once and for all. When He promises me eternal life with Him, I know I will have it because of both Good Friday and Easter.
As I said on my Facebook page today, "You can't have Friday without Sunday. And you can't have Sunday without Friday."