The uphill journey to Easter Sunday from the low country of Lent takes effort and persistence. The steep pathway circles around the mountain week after week. Just as my calves feel shaky and I don’t think I can keep going, the view of Easter Sunday fills the frame. The top of this mountain, vast and spacious, provides room to sit and bask in Easter joy.
In early March, I began my journey through the forty days of Lent and contemplated Jesus’ sufferings. Lent helped me refocus my attention on God by inviting me to give up something. Spending time in Jesus’ suffering as He walked to the cross makes the joy of Easter Sunday sweeter. The Holy Week services from Palm Sunday to the Saturday Easter Vigil prepare me much more deeply to celebrate the Resurrection on Sunday.
Easter, in the Anglican tradition, is certainly not a single-day event. Long after we have found all those brightly colored plastic eggs, there is a great deal left to discover in the fifty days of Easter. Could it be another invitation to shift focus? How could I usher in feasting and celebration to take center stage?
Soul tending in Psalm 110 gives believers an invitation to the ultimate resurrection party.
Psalm 110 for Easter
1 The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool." Psalm 110: 1 ESV
Jesus completed His holy assignment here on Earth, reconciling believers with the Lord. He then sat down at the Lord’s right hand by invitation. God was satisfied. Jesus sits in the front row, watching how the Lord continues to demonstrate His power over anyone or anything coming against Christianity. While various battles continue, the Lord has won the war once and for all.
In these fifty days of Easter, how will I sit down and take time to consider what Jesus has done for me? I tend to run hard and rarely take breaks until I fall and collapse. I say this not out of pride but out of humility. I don’t believe God is pleased by my endless going and doing. So how can I take time in this season to sit with my savior?
2 The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Psalm 110:2 ESV
What does it look like to rule in the midst of your enemies? Because the Lord seeks reconciliation, not annihilation, Jesus will rule on His throne even now. He will lead amid wars, oppression, and natural disasters.
3 Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. Psalm 110:3 ESV
We celebrate and give thanks for all Jesus has done during the Easter season. His mercies are new every morning, and great is His faithfulness to us.
This verse also points to a verse from Revelation about holy garments.
Let us rejoice and exult, and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure"
(Revelation 19:7-8 ESV)
4 The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." Psalm 110: 4 ESV
Abraham met this priest and was blessed by him after a battle (Genesis 14:18-20). The psalms remind everyone of God’s promises fulfilled in Jesus. So much of the Old Testament all pointed to the coming Messiah.
5 The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. Psalm 110: 5 ESV
No world leader or military power will be strong enough to oppose the Lord. Therefore, the day of His Wrath will be the ultimate judgment day.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide Earth. Psalm 110:6 ESV
All at once across the entire Earth, and without exception, the Lord will cast His judgment. Some will oppose Him, and they will pay with their lives. Others will fall on their knees and worship Him. No chiefs or worldly authorities will prevail on this final day of judgment.
7 He will drink from the brook; therefore he will lift up his head. Psalm 110:7 ESV
Verse 7 points back to the cross. One way Jesus speaks about preparing to die on the cross is to compare it to drinking from a cup of suffering. At one point, even the disciples become sure they are capable of this sacrifice.
Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." (Matthew 20:22 ESV)
This verse reminds us of the cost of Jesus’ victory. He drank from a brook of suffering, a continuous flow of beatings and abuse. However, he did this willingly. The apostle John describes the final moments of Jesus’ life on Earth.
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 ESV
Jesus gave His life for us. No one took it away.
Psalm 110 reminds me to celebrate the Easter season for fifty days? What can I do at the ultimate resurrection party?
I thought of three suggestions that all start with the letter F.
Flowers – celebrate this season of new life in Christ by bringing some flowers inside your house. A modest bouquet or potted lily or tulip for less than ten dollars. The blooms could serve you and others who gather in your home with a gorgeous reminder of God’s love.
Feasts – what exceptional food could you serve during the Easter season to remind you of the goodness of the Lord? Or maybe you could try a new food or drink?
Festivals- celebrations – in the last two years, more than one special celebration had to be scaled back or canceled entirely. Are we experiencing a festival deficit? Perhaps we need to gather our people and set aside some space on our calendars to celebrate during this particular season. Depending on where you live, maybe even an outdoor garden party might be in order.
How about you? How could you mark this celebratory season?
Lord, we invite you to the party we want to throw during the Easter Season. You are our honored guest. We can’t wait to gather our people and talk about you while we break bread and drink wine. Help us to fill every seat at our table with friends and family. Thank you, Lord, for providing a gorgeous flower centerpiece featuring a bit of the glory of your creation. Please fill our mouths with your songs of remembrance and laughter. Amen