Celebrating the resurrection

With the approach of Easter, and because I've just read Luke 24, I've been pondering our attitude to the resurrection of Jesus. I think it's generally agreed that Christians see it as a good thing, obviously, but we seem to deal with it in a very sombre and reverent manner. I'm not suggesting we need to be irreverent, but need we be so sombre? Look at the reactions recorded in the Bible:

"And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to tell the disciples." (Matthew 28 v 8)

"They said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us while to talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?'...

And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling....

And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God." (Luke 24 vv 32, 41, 52-53)

In John's account, Peter and another disciple run to the tomb when they hear Jesus has risen from the dead, and later Peter leaps off his fishing boat and swims ashore when he realises the man on the shore is Jesus.

The resurrection should make us marvel at God's power and at his awesome, amazing, wonderful forgiveness - but shouldn't we also have the reaction of those who knew Jesus in the flesh? The common theme there seems to be great joy. I don't think that treating the resurrection as a celebration in any way detracts from the point of the resurrection. Rather, I think the fact that the resurrection brings us eternal life with God should make it doubly joyous - Jesus' horrible, painful death was not the end for him and therefore not the end for us.

I don't really know what 'celebrating the resurrection' looks like in practical terms; I just think it would be nice to see a few more smiles when we talk about it.


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