It's a mistake if people of faith approach Easter the same way. When we take a look at the resurrection stories in any of the four Gospels, are we just reading something on a page, or listening to someone tell this old, old story again? When we worship on Easter, do we go to hear a staff performing at the top of their game like it's their Super Bowl? Are we looking for an amazing show with trumpet sounds and colorful paraments and the smells of spring? Easter is our celebration. Easter is our time. God turns our mourning into dancing... our sorrow into joy. John's telling of the resurrection puts that to us in a powerful way.
In one of the most touching stories of all Scripture, Mary Magdalene is overwhelmed with emotions on that first day of the week. She goes to the tomb, sees that it is empty and then goes to tells others that "they have taken the Lord." The other disciples believed right away when he saw the empty tomb, but Mary is still bewildered. After the rest had returned to their homes, she remains and weeps. Angels appear to her first and then the resurrected Christ. She doesn't recognize him until he calls her by name: "Mary." Immediately her mourning turns to joy. It's a powerful story.
Jesus says something interesting to her that reveals that Mary is not the equivalent of me watching 12 Years A Slave win the Oscar. She is not simply a witness to something great that happened to Jesus. Instead something has also happened... or at least will happen... for her as well. "Jesus said to her, 'Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God (John 20:17)."'"
Jesus' gift to Mary and to all of us, is that through the cross, the empty tomb, the ascension, and his promise to return... all of us have been united with these events. His life is our life... His celebration is our celebration.
When you celebrate Easter... Celebrate that Christ has done all of this for you. This is your hope. So join the party. Share the good news. Don't hold on to Jesus, or the performances of others. Celebrate and share the good news. Hallelujah! Christ is risen!