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Christos Egegertai

With Easter just ten days away, here is an article I wrote for my church...

“But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.” Luke 24:12 (ESV)

Pastor Leaf shared a couple weeks ago about a year where he missed out on the True meaning of Easter. I can relate. I know from personal experience that it can be easy to miss the mark, to become so focused on the celebration that we forget to marvel at the Resurrection. Peter marveled when he saw the empty tomb.

In 2013 I spent the week before Easter sick in bed with a fever. I did not have the capacity to decorate, go shopping, dye Easter eggs, or do many of the traditional things I like to do to celebrate. The night before Easter, I wrote on Facebook:

“In this media driven world, it is hard not to feel self-conscious or feel like you do not measure up to what other people are doing. I have seen so many friends posts pictures of dyeing Easter Eggs or setting entire tables for Easter dinner. Tomorrow, there will be pictures of Easter baskets and egg hunts and new dresses. At my house, there will be no egg hunt, no baskets, no new dresses (Drew is relieved…) and no perfect Easter dinner. But I have decided I am okay with that. I was sick this week and was in bed when I would have been out shopping or dyeing eggs with my kids… Instead of focusing on the periphery stuff, I am forced to focus on what Easter is all about. Jesus. God Incarnate. Life. Resurrection. Salvation. It is not a Pinterest Perfect Easter, and that is okay.”

Please do not misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with dyeing eggs, having an egg hunt, decorating your home, or setting a beautiful table. I love doing all of these things. The problem is when that becomes our main focus, when we are too concerned about getting the perfect pictures that we miss out on the meaning of Easter. We miss the mark when these things take the place of celebrating Jesus.

I saw a meme that reads, “Silly rabbit, Easter is for Jesus.” The things we do to celebrate Easter should not take away from our focus on the meaning and hope of Easter. They are nothing in compared to what Jesus did on the Cross nearly two-thousand years ago. Getting sick that year forced me to make Jesus my focus over anything else. I had to make a choice to be okay with not having the “Pinterest Perfect” Easter. Instead, I had a Jesus-Focused Easter. So what does a Jesus-Focused Easter look like?

If you know me, you know that I love languages, especially Biblical Greek, so if you will please indulge me, I would like to share with you a short language lesson. In English, tense denotes the time of action. In Greek, tense indicates the type of action. It makes a difference in our understanding of the action that has occurred.

On Easter Sunday, many churches use the traditional greeting for Easter, Christ is Risen, and response, He is risen indeed. Some churches will say this greeting in Greek, Christos Anesti. However, I like to use the phrase Christos Egegertai. Both would be translated “Christ is Risen,” however, the use of tense gives a slightly different meaning to each phrase. The traditional phrase uses the aorist tense which is a simple past action. The reason I like egegertai is that it uses the perfect tense. In Greek, the perfect tense speaks of a past action that has a present impact. What could be more true of the Resurrection? Jesus rose from the grave nearly two millennia ago and that action continues to have an impact today.

As we approach Easter, stop and think about the following questions.

· What is the present impact of the Resurrection on your life?

· What do you need to let go of in order to focus on the hope of Easter?

· Are you more concerned with having the “Pinterest Perfect” Easter or the Jesus-Focused Easter?

· Do you marvel at the Resurrection?

Share with others the hope you have in Jesus. Invite friends, family, and strangers to join in the celebration. Take practical steps to make Jesus the focus of Easter. Live in the Truth that Christos Egegertai. Stop and marvel at God’s amazing love.

John 3:16 (ESV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

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