By Emily Wells

The Easter season is meant to celebrate the life that Christians are given through Christ. Although we should be thankful for it all the time, Easter is the time of year that we focus more attention on the abundant life found in Jesus’s resurrection. That resurrection, however, could not happen without death.

Death is one topic most people love to avoid. It is natural to want to dwell on bright, happy things. Death is brutal, dark, and unkind. Sometimes it takes its victim swiftly but other times it sucks the life out of a person in a torturous fashion. Death is not exclusive; it is the great equalizer. The best and worst of people experience death. And death reaches beyond its victims, grasping the hearts of family members and other loved ones in its cold embrace.

It is easier to just ignore death, right? Out of sight, out of mind.

I think that Christians often carry this mentality into the Easter season with them. We are all for celebrating salvation if we feel good about it and it doesn’t aggravate our conscience. But once we bring our sin into the picture, things change. The truth is, it is our sin that put Jesus on that cross. I might as well have pounded the nails into His hands and feet myself. We are all guilty. Guilt is not a good feeling. It is much easier when I blame Jesus’ death on the crowds or on the Pharisees or on Pilate. Yes, they are guilty, but so am I. So are all of us.

I helped put Jesus on that cross, and he suffered a long, agonizing death that cannot be described with mere words. When He died, it seemed for a moment that darkness had won. All hope seemed lost. In my head, I can picture Satan and his demons throwing a party over their apparent victory. But that is not the end of the story. Jesus conquered death and thereby changed my status of “guilty” to “innocent.” Death, which at times seems so prevalent and inescapable, was destroyed.

It is important for Christians to not just push the idea of death to the corners of our mind. It is a horrible, awful thing, and it hurts. But it is only through death that we can experience life in Christ. We do not have to fear death because Jesus conquered it for us. Death is scary, but it is not final, and in that we can find comfort and hope.