In the early church they did something that at first seems very strange.
They made Baptisms seem like funerals.
Those who were about to join the church would take off their old clothes as a way of showing that they were putting off their old, anxiety-ridden life. They would then walk down into the water. As they went under the water the priest would say, “Buried with him in baptism.” As they rose, the priest said: “Risen to new life in Christ.” They put on new clothes as a symbol of putting on Christ.
Do you see? Members of the church went through “dying” to get it over with. “Once they were no longer anxious about Caesar’s persecutions of the church, they were free to boldly proclaim the gospel. You can’t scare dead people.”
Maybe this is part of our Easter season celebration. We have been baptized. We have been baptized into Jesus’ death and resurrection. We have been “marked as Christ’s own forever.”
We’ve already “gotten dying over with.” We get to live with a new Easter courage—because “you can’t scare dead people.”
The great 19th century preacher, Phillips Brooks, once put it this way: “The great Easter truth is not that we shall live forever. That is not the great truth. The great Easter truth is this: We can live nobly NOW because we shall live forever.”