This coming Sunday we celebrate Easter, or as some prefer, Resurrection Sunday. While the origins of the word “Easter” can be debated, it is generally defined as the most important festival of the Christian church, commemorating the day of Christ’s resurrection from the tomb.
“The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction, and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.” – Robert Flatt
My favorite feeling of Easter is that of new beginnings. Not only does Easter feel like the real beginning of new life in the world, spring flowers, pastel colors, happy faces and families gathering together to celebrate the Resurrection, but it also symbolizes new beginnings in relationships and decisions. The decision to be lovely and to bring glory to God in my actions.
Easter always feels like a time to renew my personal relationship with Jesus. To be able to look back and see all my mistakes, kneel at the foot of the cross and once more, show my gratitude for the pain He suffered on the cross while offering me the gift of eternal salvation. It’s a time that I can be grateful for the forgiveness that He offered to me, and remember to extend it to others.
The interesting thing about forgiveness is that it is scientifically proven to increase your mental and physical health and well-being. Secular scientists have done studies that show the effects of real forgiveness on our bodies, and have been able to prove that forgiveness actually helps us to have better relationships and better physical health by lowering our blood pressure and heart rate. Another way to say it is the following: refusing to forgive can literally kill you over time.
This Easter, will you focus on creating a new beginning in your life? Maybe there’s a fence that you need to mend? Maybe there’s a friendship that you can restore, or a grudge you can resolve. The beautiful thing about forgiveness is that it is a gift. It is not earned, nor does it always lead to complete reconciliation or restoration of a relationship – it is to cease to feel resentment against, to grant pardon to, or to cancel an indebtedness or liability of.
It’s sobering to think of how far the Lord went to show His love and forgiveness of our sins and our actions that are displeasing to Him. He cancelled our indebtedness to Him. In light of this, who am I to refuse forgiveness and a new beginning to another?
With His rising, we were given the opportunity to begin anew in His love, His gift of salvation, as offered by following the steps in Acts 2:38. With this one act, dying upon the Cross and being resurrected as our Messiah (Savior), we were offered a new beginning. Just like the flowers that peek up through the snow in the beginning of spring, we are offered a new season to bloom. Will you take advantage of His generous offer?