During Lent, we focused on giving up something in our own lives in order and giving something to others. Now, we’ve reached the end of our Lenten journey and, on this glorious Easter Sunday, we celebrate the miracle in which Jesus Christ gave up His life in order to give us eternal life.

But does celebrating the glory of the Resurrection mean it’s time to put the lessons of Lent aside? No; in fact, the lessons of Lent magnify the beauty of Easter, with Christ’s triumph viewed through the lens of His dedication and sacrifice. Our growth in Lent, as we strove to walk more humbly with the Lord, to honor His sacrifices with our own, should not be aside until next year. It should be a foundation on which we can continue to build as we continue to strive, each and every day, to become the sons and daughters our Heavenly Father yearns for us to be.

With these lessons in hand, we are better equipped for the mission of Easter – to cast death aside and embrace eternal life. Just as we pledged to give up and give, we now add the Easter pledge to rise up and live. We shed death and embrace a life of grace. We reject all the ways in which the world seeks to kill our souls and we rise up in the power of the magnificent miracle of grace. Our humble and contrite hearts are washed in the blood of the Lamb and we are saved – saved to do great things for one another and to the glory of God.

Give up and give. Rise up and live. Do all things, each and every day, in the Name of the One who does everything for you. Who washed you in the River Jordan and in His own precious blood. Who carried you to Calvary and ransomed you back from death. Who walks with you, in this world and the next.

“In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ’ Then they remembered His words.” Luke 24:5-8