On the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring, it’s a pretty sure thing that we’ll be having ham for dinner. When it comes to Easter, don’t confuse the arbitrariness of the celebration’s timing with the laser focus of its purpose. Easter is a celebration of resurrection.
I’ve never been clear on why ham is prominent on the menu for the occasion, but this one thing I do know: If you have all the ingredients for a ham dinner, but leave out the ham, you do not have a ham dinner. You can bake the pineapple casserole, mash the potatoes, chill the dilly beans, and pull the steaming hot cornmeal rolls out of the oven. You can even offer three choices of pie for dessert, but leave out the ham, and it’s not a ham dinner.
Resurrection is to the celebration of Easter what ham is to a ham dinner. Christ’s resurrection changes the game plan and even the identity of everyone who believes.
Easter is a celebration of resurrection.Tweet
Resurrection is to the celebration of Easter what ham is to a ham dinner. If you leave out the ham, it’s not a ham dinner.
Theology becomes startling and personal when we ponder the reality of resurrection and its impact on our following life. He who became sin for us has also become resurrection and life:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus’s costly substitution intiated a pattern of transformation. His pain, sorrow, suffering, and death became joy, victory, righteousness, and life. This transformation reverberated into the life of the Apostle Peter when he went from Betrayer to Brother. Jesus later singled him out for a one-on-one in which he was abundantly clear on Peter’s status as Follower and Message Bearer.
Resurrection power has lost none of its efficacy in the centuries since Jesus’s heart resumed its cadence, his lungs re-inflated, and his eyes opened in a pitch dark tomb. As we sit down to our ham dinners today (complete with ham, I hope), let’s also embark upon a full celebration of Easter, complete with resurrection! Jesus became sin so that we could become righteous. In light of this, I have a challenge for us all:
Let’s become “the righteousness of God!”
Not perfectly, of course. At least not today.
But let’s quit making excuses for our failure to manifest the Fruit of the Spirit and for our pale adumbration of the Love of God by which we are, supposedly, identifiable. I’m going to be meditating on this prayer for peaceful change as I ponder the transforming power of resurrection.
I invite you to join me:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Oh, Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love,
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Holding you in the Light,
Resurrection power has lost none of its efficacy in the centuries since Jesus’ heart resumed its cadence, his lungs reinflated and his eyes opened in a dark tomb. As we sit down to our ham dinners today, I have a challenge for us: “Become the righteousness of God!” (2 Cor. 5:21)Tweet
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