Who doesn’t look forward to Easter Sunday? It is a joyous occasion. A time of restoration, a time of extreme worship, a day of renewed hope.
Church sanctuaries are filled with beautiful flowers. Adults and children alike are sporting new clothes. There is a sense of excitement and expectancy that ripples through the congregation.
Families meet for a holiday meal before or after services. The little ones eagerly anticipate the Easter egg hunt. Oh, such a day. New clothes, stuffed Easter bunnies, decorated eggs and lots of candy.
But what have we done? In our joy, have we forgotten the awe, reverence and thankfulness this day exudes? It would be good to remember others who forgot to put God first and found themselves asking this same question.
“Adam! What have we done?” A crying out from Eve that might have been heard on that fateful day of the fall of man.
After God’s curse on Eve, she gave birth to a son named Cain. According to scripture, he was the first person born on this earth. It should have been a magnificent time of celebratory singing by celestial beings; a praise-filled day of thanks to God; an unsurpassed blessed event. In the midst of a spectacular garden filled with unimaginable fragrances, colorful animals and flora, blue sky and temperate weather, the parents should have been filled with anticipation and hope for their child’s future.
However, because of her disobedience and sin, it was not a hopeful experience. Years later, both of their sons were taken from them; Abel was murdered by his brother, and Cain was banished from his parents presence and the presence of the Lord himself.
Thinking back to the birth of my own first child and contrasting it to what Eve must have undergone, the consequence of my sin is comparable.
“What have we done?” I cried. The early months of my pregnancy, out-of-wedlock, were filled with remorse, dread and confusion.
After our marriage, however, we looked forward to the birth of our first child. Hoping for a son whose life would be more than ours had been, we prayed for God’s mercy for our marriage and our family. But God claimed our son just one day after he was born, taking him into His presence, and away from ours. For us as it was for Adam and Eve, this anticipated, happy event was filled instead with sorrow, distress and guilt.
When Christ was crucified, many cried out “What have we done?” They realized, too late, that He was innocent of any wrong doing and that He truly was the Son of God. Then, when He rose from the dead defeating Satan’s claim of power, Easter became a day of hope for forgiveness of sin and eternal life with Christ our Lord.
Unlike Cain and my first son who were both born in sin, Jesus was pure and holy. If our Lord had not loved us, He would not have chosen to live and suffer as a human so we could be redeemed by faith. If our Lord had not died and overpowered death, I would not have the assurance I have today of being reunited with my son when Our Savior returns triumphant on the Last Day.
Jesus’ resurrection is one of wonder and veneration. Because of God’s grace and his unfathomable, undeserving love, Easter, for me and all believers, should be a day of praiseworthy joy -the ultimate Day of Hope.
The fall of man and the story of Cain and Abel can be found in Genesis 3-4; the resurrection story is in the New Testament.
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