Everyone loves a celebration. It’s a time to forget routine and everyday matters, and instead to enjoy time with friends or family to mark a special occasion.
It could be the birth of a child, passing an exam, getting a job, a wedding or a significant birthday. Whatever the event, celebrating involves forgetting the ordinary things of life and focusing on an achievement, something to be glad about.
Usually that achievement has involved effort. For example, the labour the mother experiences in childbirth, all those hours spent studying and swotting for exams, completing application forms and attending interviews for jobs, finding the right person to share a life with and organising the ceremony and reception. But afterwards, there is something to look forward to, a time to forget all the hard work and be glad.
But those celebrations are short-lived. It is not long before familiar things take over again and life returns to its usual pattern. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was always something to celebrate? Well, there is.
What is there to celebrate in the Bible?
The Bible tells us about Jesus. There were celebrations when he was born, but his life was a hard one. As an adult, he spent his time looking after others: healing them, teaching them, trying to get them to understand what it is God wants from us and how He wants us to behave. And the thanks he got for all his trouble? He was arrested, falsely accused and condemned to a cruel death by crucifixion.
But Jesus was different from everyone else – he never did anything against God’s commands and so never sinned. And because of that, he knew that he didn’t deserve to die and that God would raise him to life again. He suffered what he did because he was looking forward to the time when he would be alive again, free from all the problems in this life. And not only that, he knew that by dying when he didn’t need to, he was paying for our sins too.
We are the ones who have sinned and deserve to die, but because Jesus has already paid that penalty for us, we now have a hope of being raised, and not just of being raised, but of an everlasting life in God’s kingdom. The hard work has already been done, the suffering is over and we have something fantastic to look forward to.
Now isn’t that worth celebrating?