The Easter Spirit


Joni and Friends
The Easter Spirit

by Joni Eareckson Tada

“Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

James 4:9-10

Remember a few months ago when you were in the Christmas spirit? The laughter, the joy, and all the good feelings? Now that we’re approaching Easter, the obvious question is, “Are you in the Easter spirit?” Does that strike you as odd? It should. You hardly ever hear people talking about getting into the spirit of Easter. And there’s a good reason why.

Never in the history of the church have Christians associated happiness and good feelings with the time leading up to Good Friday. You cannot sentimentalize the gruesome carnage that happened at Calvary. The cross is nothing to laugh about (it’s probably why we don’t have parties during the Easter season as we do at Christmastime). These weeks leading up to Good Friday place us in the middle of the Lenten season. This is a time of self-examination and somber reflection on the pain our sins gave Christ.

If the Easter season is to have a spirit about it, it’s the spirit of repentance. Only when we contemplate the full weight of our transgressions can we genuinely celebrate all that happened on Resurrection Sunday. When we consider the depth of our depravity, we are able to fully enjoy the height of our happiness over Christ’s victory from the grave. Our joy is only as real, deep, and sincere as our grief over our sin—otherwise we have no idea what he’s saved us from.

The Easter spirit can’t be mustered up with baskets of eggs, chocolate rabbits, hot cross buns, or honey-baked hams. This stuff has about as much connection to the real meaning of Lent as Santa Claus has to Christmas. To get into the spirit of this season, ask yourself, “What thing, habit, person, or fantasy—what is it I can bring to the cross?”

I humbly ask for the spirit of repentance, O Lord. Help me to truly lament my sins…so I can indeed celebrate your resurrection.

Taken from More Precious than Silver

By Joni Eareckson Tada

Copyright © 1998
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

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