While the world revels in hunting for colored eggs allegedly hidden by a certain mysterious rabbit, and while folks decorate their homes with adorable chicks and bunnies and bright baskets, Christians prepare to celebrate the biggest event in human history.
To this day, many of us repeat the special greeting used on Resurrection Sunday by members of the early Church:
“He is risen!”
“He is risen indeed!”
Spiritually speaking, Easter is a bigger deal than Christmas.
The Incarnation is certainly amazing in and of itself. The Son of God, who is Himself God, takes on human flesh to experience life on this planet as one of us.
The author of Hebrews tells us that we can relate to Jesus because He lived among us and suffered as we do.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15
However, Christ didn’t just come so that he could relate to us, and we to him. While His humanity is important, we must not lose sight of His divinity.
When pro-life Christians speak of the entire gamut of human life—life which deserves to be protected at every stage—we use the term “from womb to tomb.”
Significantly, Jesus came to earth inside a womb, and His earthly life ended inside a tomb.
He began life as a microscopic zygote conceived inside Mary by the Holy Spirit. After completing His earthly mission and dying on a common criminal’s cross, He was laid in a borrowed tomb.
Womb to tomb, Jesus experienced human life in all its beauty and brokenness.
He enjoyed the company of friends and the taste of good, home-cooked meals. He celebrated with his disciples at their successes.
He also got hungry and tired and exasperated.
This human relatability of Jesus is not, however, the main point of His earthly mission.
The bigger reality is that He is the culmination of the universal, all-inclusive mission of God which begins to unfold in the book of Genesis and will fully come to fruition in the age to come.
Jesus, fully human and fully God, inhabited earth so we could inhabit the new earth one day.
Womb and tomb—both are dark, small, enclosed spaces.
One nurtures life at its inception, offering a warm, protective environment. The other is an austere enclosure for a cold, lifeless body once the spirit has departed—a body which will deteriorate.
The good news to celebrate at Easter is this:
Jesus Christ, this Savior, this Redeemer who lived among us from womb to tomb, did not remain enclosed by the tomb.
No, He triumphed over death, and His triumph opens the door for people from every tribe, nation, and language to once again be in relationship with God the Father.
This Father loved the world so much he was willing to experience the agony of His only Son’s death so that we, His most precious creation, could obtain eternal life.
The glorious implication is this: because Jesus overcame death, walked out of the tomb, and ascended to the Father, we, too, need not fear wasting away in the grave.
The womb was our beginning, but the tomb will not be our end.
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” –Romans 10:9
Saved means rescued. It means instead of being punished for our sins, we are forgiven, and we receive mercy.
It means when your body dies, no worries—you will receive a new one! (See 1 Corinthians 15).
Eternal life is a benefit of submitting to the Lordship of Christ. Another benefit is what Jesus calls “abundant” life, or life to the full.
These concepts are closely related to the life-affirming mission because God is the author of life on every level.
He is the Creator, and humanity is His most special creation. Every image-bearer of God, the embryo as well as the 100-year-old, is dearly loved by God.
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Through Jesus, we find fullness of life so that our time on earth is as packed with meaning and joy as possible.
Finally, eternal life is a gift from God for all who confess and believe Christ is Lord.
Human life is sacred. Jesus lived it from womb to tomb.
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Because of Him, we can have abundant life on earth and eternal life as well.
So, at Easter time, I suppose fluffy chicks and bunnies are fine—but there’s a greater reason to celebrate.
Let’s give God glory for all that He is and all He has provided for us through Christ.
He is Lord over both the womb and the tomb—and everything in between.