It’s a funny thing to have your birthday on Easter Sunday. Birthdays are a celebration of yet another year of life. Easter Sunday is a celebration of the giver of life being raised to life from the dead, and in so doing gives life to all who believe in him. It’s all too easy to miss the connection. The reason we can celebrate yet another year of life on earth is because the Son of God has been raised to life.
We do not live like people who dread the end of life. We do not live like people who ignore the reality of death. We do not live like people toiling to leave a mark on the world. We live like people who know that Christ is risen, death is defeated, and all that is wrong with the world will be made right. Because Christ has been raised, we too shall be raised. Because Christ has defeated death, we too are conquerors over death.
As a result, there is radical orientation of the way we ought to live. We do not fear death, because death cannot separate us from the true life we have, that is life in God through Christ. We do not ignore death, but acknowledge the grief it brings and take it as a reminder that our hope is not in this world, but in the world to come. We do not toil in vain, but work heartily for the Lord, knowing that our reward is the inheritance we shall receive in heaven as sons of God, co-heirs of Christ.
And we celebrate birthdays, rejoicing over the life we have on this earth, but always setting our sights on the life that is to come. A life more rich and joyous, so much so that each present moment surpasses the glory of the past moments. The days of death and sorrow will be forgotten, as we are caught up in the neverending celebration of life. This is no ordinary life, but life in the Son, purchased by his blood. This is why the central song of the celebration of life is of the lamb who was slain. Easter is the vantage point of redemptive history, from which we can look upon a blood-stained cross and an empty tomb, and thus look forward to this glorious life that is to come, which we now see in the resurrected Christ, and which will soon be ours.