THE WORD: Every Day an Easter

PHOTO: “The Entombment of Christ” by Caravaggio (circa 1602) is a painting in the collection of the Vatican. (Public Domain) 

Easter comes in the calendar only once in a year—but for the Christian, every day is an Easter. Each morning we should rise to newness of life. In midwinter we do not need to wait for the coming of springtime, to get the lessons of Eastertide. Christ arose once for all and the glory of his victory shines everywhere, and the power of his resurrection is felt wherever he is known and loved and followed. 

Easter ought to leave in every Christian heart—new inspirations, a new uplift, new revealing of hope. It ought to be easier for us to live nobly and victoriously after we have enjoyed another Easter with its great lessons. A wave of comfort should roll over the world, as the day bears everywhere its news of resurrection. Death has been conquered. A grave is no longer a hopelessly sealed prison—its doors have been broken. This is the message which Easter carries to every home of sorrow, to every lonely, bereft heart. 

But that is not the whole meaning of the Easter lesson. Perhaps we narrow it too much. We keep its comfort for the days when death is in our home, when we are standing beside the graves of our loved ones. It tells us that what to our blinded eyes seems death—is life; and that the grave is but a little chamber of peace where our dear godly one shall sleep until the morning. 

But the lesson reaches out and covers all life. It sheds a glory over every sorrow. It whispers hope in every experience of loss. It tells of victory, not only over death—but over everything in which men seem to suffer defeat, over all grief, pain, and trial. Jesus himself stated the great principle of the resurrection victory when he said, “Except a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies—it abides by itself alone; but if it dies—it bears much fruit.” The dropping of the grain into the earth, to perish there, is not misfortune, not the wasting, the losing, the perishing, of the grain; it is but the way by which it reaches its full development and comes to its greatest fruitfulness. 

The little parable had its first interpretation in the death of Christ himself. Dying would be no misfortune for him; it was but the way to the higher, larger life into which it would introduce him.  

Life is always double. There is an outer form in which it presents itself to our senses; and there is an inner spirit which is the vital quality. But this inner, spiritual, immortal element—can be found only through the dying of the outer and temporary form. The golden grain must be buried in service or sacrifice of love—that from its grave may rise that which is unseen and eternal! 


J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. His works are now in the public domain.