For over a thousand years, Jewish believers worshiped God on Saturday, also called the Sabbath. But after Jesus rose from the dead, early Christians changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. That is significant. If you know anything about the church, you know it can be hard to change anything, let alone a long-standing tradition like the day of worship. But those early followers of Jesus knew that Jesus’ resurrection was the most important event in history. To them, Easter was everything.
So why was Jesus’ resurrection such a significant event?
According to Jesus, Easter was not just something that happened to him, but it is the destiny of every believer. He explained it this way: “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). In other words, Jesus said what happened to him will one day happen to us.
But what will happen to us?
According to the apostle Paul, on the Last Day our bodies will be transformed to be like Jesus’ resurrected body: Jesus “will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).
Our eternal future is not some bodiless existence, floating around in the clouds as commonly depicted in cartoons. No, we will have real, physical, and glorious bodies, just like the current body of Jesus.
But there is more. Paul says not only will what happened to Jesus happen to us, but it will also happen to the created world: “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:20,21).
In other words, all creation will go through a type of resurrection. God cursed the world because of sin, but on the Last Day, he will remove that curse and set all creation free from the effects of sin.
What does that mean for us today?
Although the blessings of Jesus’ resurrection will not be fully realized until the Last Day, it gives our lives real meaning and purpose. For example, there are no such things as mere mortals. According to Daniel 12:2, everyone will be resurrected one day, “some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” The person who lives next to you, works with you, worships with you, or plays golf with you will spend eternity in one of two locations. Now is the time to tell others about Jesus!
Also, our bodies are with us for eternity. All that is wrong with them will be made right on the Last Day. And all that is good about our bodies will be restored. But until that day, we are called to love and care for our bodies, which are also temples for the Holy Spirit.
In the same way, our world, which is filled with beauty and wonder but also trash and decay, will be fully renovated. Until that day, let us enjoy it as our Creator intended and repair what is distorted (to the best of our ability).
You see, Easter is too important to restrict to a single observance. It is too significant to reserve for a distinct morning with a side of eggs and a chocolate bunny. Let Easter be your everything. It is the greatest event in history. It is a foreshadow of your destiny. It is your present reality.