By Nathan Tiemeyer
Despite what they may think sometimes, I really love my kids. I also love sports. So it’s been a natural fit for me to help coach several of their teams as they’ve grown up. One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about doing so has been helping kids learn the “mechanics” of a particular sport. Like how to shoot a basketball, hit a baseball, and so on. (And yes, there’s a “those who can’t do…” joke to be made here).
But after doing this for many years, I’ve noticed that kids who are now fourteen years old often still need to be reminded of things they were taught when they were half that age. Yes, they continue to mature and become better. But they never outgrow the need to return to and practice the fundamentals of whatever sport they’re playing.
(Case in point: if you want to know why Steph Curry is the greatest shooter to ever to play basketball, check out this jaw-dropping video.)
Practicing the fundamentals of faith
I’ve found that my Christian life is remarkably similar. I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember. And I think it’s fair to say that I’ve grown in maturity over the years. But I’ve never graduated past the need to be reminded of certain fundamental truths about who God is, what he’s done, and what that means for me.
And judging from the biblical story, I’m not alone in this. Why else would the Lord so consistently direct his people to remember?
Consider what David writes in Psalm 145:4-7:
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
This passage affirms that God’s people need to remember, rehearse, and meditate on his character and the incredible works he’s accomplished on their behalf. And it’s just one of the many places in which the Bible communicates the same point.
For example, God established the Passover Feast so the Israelites would remember how he delivered them from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-29). And when they brought offerings from their crops, they were to recite a brief history of how God had brought them into “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Deuteronomy 26:1-11). And after he miraculously enabled them to pass over the Jordan River on dry ground, God instructed the people to build a permanent memorial from stones taken from the riverbed. This was so that future generations could be reminded of what he had done (Joshua 4:1-7).
This trend continued into the New Testament too. Jesus’s followers are supposed to celebrate what we now call communion “in remembrance” of the sacrifice he made (Luke 22:14-20).
Why does God want you to remember?
All this leads to an important question: why is God so intent on reminding us of who he is, what he’s done, and what it means for us? I think the answer lies in the fact that it’s so easy to forget the truth.
Every day, and from a thousand different voices, we hear what amounts to a different story. And in this alternative story, if God is included at all, he’s distorted into someone other than who he truly is. He may even be the villain! In any case, he’s certainly not worth trusting and following.
The problem with these alternate stories is that they simply aren’t reality. They lead us away from the real hero and ask us to become the focus of the story instead.
And because that’s a role we’re not qualified for, it will only end in disappointment and disaster.
Which brings us to Easter.
Can you outgrow the Easter story?
That first Easter makes up the greatest chapter of a better story, the real story. And that chapter is perhaps the best and most crucial reminder of who God is, what he’s done, and what it all means for us. That’s why we’ll never outgrow hearing and thinking about it.
In the events of that first Easter, we see Jesus, God the Son, the rightful king over everything, humble himself to suffer an agonizing death on a cross.
Why? To pour out his love and grace on people who deserve the opposite. To pay the awful penalty that we rightly owe for our rebellion against God.
And then, with his stunning resurrection, Jesus also announced the inevitable defeat of our greatest enemy, death itself, ensuring we will one day experience a new and joyful life with him forever.
If Jesus is willing to do that for us, why wouldn’t we listen to and follow him? Why wouldn’t we trust him with our lives? What better evidence could we find to help us understand that, if we have him, we have everything we truly need?
This is why Easter should never be old news to us. It’s never something we outgrow and move past. Instead, celebrating it will always be an opportunity for God to remind us of truths that we can’t live without.
How will you stay hopeful this Easter? Sometimes the familiarity of the Easter story can leave us feeling apathetic and even cynical. Click below to see how the truth of Jesus’s resurrection can turn a raging cynic into a hopeful optimist.