A Memorial for Jesus?
It’s March already, and we will celebrate Easter at the end of this month. Just now two people came to my door and handed me a flier. They said that they were inviting me to a “memorial service” for the death of Jesus. A memorial service? For Jesus? Weird. I knew that the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Easter, so I knew who they were. I asked, “You don’t celebrate the Resurrection, do you?” They replied, “No, we celebrate a memorial for his death.” I told them that I celebrated Christ’s resurrection, and handed back the flier.
As they left, I thought “how sad!” They remember the death of Jesus, but don’t believe in the resurrection. Of course that’s because they don’t believe in the deity of Christ. They are missing the very heart of the Gospel, that Jesus (God’s Son!) came into the world, died for our sins on the cross, and rose on the third day (1 Cor. 15:3-4). The resurrection was absolutely central to the preaching of the Apostles in Acts. Paul said that if Christ has not been raised, our faith is worthless and our sins have not been forgiven (1 Cor. 15:17).
As we prepare for Easter, take some time to reflect on the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. The weeks before Easter, called Lent, is traditionally a time for reflection, prayer and fasting. It’s a great time for a spiritual Spring house cleaning. If we prepare our hearts during this month, we will be ready to pull out the stops and joyfully celebrate the resurrection on Easter. And if the Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door to invite you to their “memorial service,” tell them ‘No thanks, I celebrate the resurrection!”
Christ is Risen!
For some ideas about how to prepare your heart for Easter, see my article, What is Lent?