Praise be to God! He has given us the victory through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The spring festival celebrations remind us of the wonderful truth of the gospel — the good news that Jesus has obtained the victory, and that we share in that victory through faith in him.
We share in his death. “All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death…. We were therefore buried with him through baptism…. We have been united with him like this in his death…. Our old self was crucified with him” (Romans 6:3-6).
We share in his resurrection. “You have been given fullness in Christ…. In him you were also circumcised…having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God…. God made you alive with Christ” (Colossians 2:10-13).
We share in his victory over sin through the Holy Spirit. “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you…. By the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body” (Romans 8:9-13).
In the spring festivals, we celebrate these truths! We remember the Lord’s death, and we participate with him as we look forward to his return (1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:26). After commemorating Jesus’ death for our sins, we celebrate his resurrection! The old covenant pictured this in the annual wavesheaf ceremony with just-harvested barley. This simple ritual had an earth-shaking, breath-taking fulfillment in the dramatic rise of Jesus Christ into splendor and glory.
Words cannot describe how important the resurrection of Christ is! If he had not been raised, his death would have been in vain, our faith would be in vain, and our lives would be in vain. We would still be in our sins and captive to death and decay — but thanks be to God, for he has given us victory through Jesus Christ our living Savior. Our eternal life depends on the fact of Jesus’ resurrection.
We celebrate not with rituals using grain, but with open proclamation that our Savior has risen from the dead and has ascended to our Father in heaven. We rejoice that our Savior is not dead, but alive — powerfully alive, with God, interceding for us, living in us, guiding us, strengthening us!
The spring festivals help us focus on the key truths of the gospel. Though we have many physical trials, we rejoice in the good things of God that are pictured in our annual cycle of celebrations. He satisfies our deepest longings, and he loves us more than we can comprehend. Let us love him with all our being.
Author: Joseph W. Tkach