Our Creator apparently pre-programmed something into our human nature that causes us to take notice of and place emphasis on significant anniversaries.  When the calendar rolls back around to the exact date on which something special or extraordinary happened, we pause to remember, sometimes joyfully reliving pleasant memories, and at other times sadly reflecting upon painful ones.  Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, dates on which loved ones passed on from this life, July 4, December 7, etc., typically evoke emotions and commemorations in our culture. 

I wonder how the apostles and other early disciples felt as the first Passover approached in the year following Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension.  They had to have terribly missed the Lord’s physical presence among them.  But, exciting things were happening. The Holy Spirit had come with great power and enabling, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was being boldly proclaimed despite threats and punishment, and the Jerusalem church continued to experience explosive, exponential growth.

Yet, they had to have remembered what transpired a year earlier.  Yes, they continued to observe a weekly feast of bread and wine in memory of the Savior’s sacrificed body and His atoning, life-giving blood.  And, no, Jesus had not left them instructions about any annual observances as had been the case under the covenant with Israel given at Sinai. 

Still, it would have been natural for those who had walked with Him to have recalled the previous year’s jubilant entry into Jerusalem, the teaching and healing in the Temple, the upper room, Gethsemane, the shock of Ju-das’ treacherous betrayal, the arrest, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, Herod, the scourging, the mockery and abuse, the agonizing walk to Golgotha, the darkness, the earthquake, the burial, that somber Sabbath, the empty tomb, and the living, breathing Jesus once again standing in their midst.

“Could that really have been a year ago?” they may have wondered.

Almost 2,000 years later, we still remember.  We still stand amazed.  We still thank God for His indescribable gift.  We still rejoice over the empty tomb and offer praise for the risen Savior.  We still anxiously await His return.

Christ is risen; He is risen indeed!