Easter is one of the most important, if not the most important, holidays on the Christian calendar. As the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is a celebration of one of the a core beliefs of Christianity all over the world, and with almost no exceptions, all Christians do celebrate this day in one form or another.
The actual date is sometimes a source of some controversy, as the “true” date of Jesus’ resurrection has been lost over the centuries. Easter today is celebrated on a date selected by the early Church, a day once used to honor a pagan goddess.
While some take issue with this, personally, this isn’t of great concern for me; if Jesus can redeem you and me, He can redeem a date on the calendar, and God’s children can use it to celebrate his resurrection.
Another source of controversy is one that’s more visible and evident, and one that some Churches practice as well: Easter eggs and the Easter bunny. I’ve myself wondered growing up what exactly those had to do with Jesus’ resurrection, and have heard a few answers as well.
That the eggs represent the empty tomb, or that it had started as pagan ritual and we shouldn’t practice it, or even that it’s a harmless practice that even young Christian children could enjoy. I’m not overly concerned about eggs and rabbits, however; they may not make sense, but we don’t need to have them take away any significance from the resurrection itself.
Let me instead return to a point I stated earlier, just to stress just what is so important about the celebration of Easter:
The resurrection is one of the core beliefs of Christianity.
I’d like for you to think of that for a bit.
Leave behind thoughts that Easter today isn’t celebrated on the actual day, or any thoughts about Easter egg hunts and however you may feel about them. Don’t think about the food, or the company coming, or the day ahead. Take some time right now, and just think about the resurrection of Jesus Christ for a moment.
I’ll help you paint the scene in your mind, and I do hope I do a good job of it: You’re among the disciples, and three days ago a man you loved dearly died painfully and tragically on the cross.
Almost none of you were even there to see it, so afraid were you of being caught and judged like he was that you fled and hid.
- Perhaps you gathered in small groups to mourn, waiting for news, hoping that the man you believed was the Son of God would perform a miracle, and that the Kingdom of God would begin from the mountain of Calvary with a triumphant army of angels.
- Perhaps you fled alone and hid in a room, confused at why the Son of God would allow such indignities.
- When you heard the news that Jesus, your teacher, your mentor, the one you left everything behind for, had died on the cross, your world practically fell apart.
- Perhaps you dreamed that the Kingdom of God, the one He preached about and taught you about, would come at His hands.
- Perhaps you just wanted to have something to believe in, and with His death you lost everything you believed in. And slowly, sadly, you gathered with your fellow believers and disciples to share the news, to mourn together, but quietly, in secret, lest His fate be yours as well.
Broken and lost, a boat at sea with no sail or rudder, with a storm gathering strength, your hope had completely gone.
Perhaps you started to think about what you would do next, started to plan where you would go. Back to your family perhaps?
To your old life, your old job? Or maybe you could do little else but mourn Him, and mourn yourself for losing Him, the one guiding light you thought you had found would lead you through the rest of your life.
Then, a glimmer of hope. A whispered message. You can’t believe it, but your heart races and starts to hope anew. You stare into the eyes of the messenger, looking to find insanity in him, or perhaps the hint of some sort of betrayal.
You try the words in your mind, perhaps try the words on your lips, a question, a prayer, a small sliver of light into the darkness of your soul.
Do you dare hope? Do you dare dream again?
He is alive! Jesus lives!
Can you imagine how the news could have been received by the early believers then?
Well, we don’t have to imagine too much, since the Bible does record some of their reactions.
Those who were first told the news believed, others dared to hope, some feared to hope but held doubt in their hearts.
But soon, He appeared to all of them, and washed their doubts and fears away, proving without a shadow of a doubt that He really was who He said He was: the Son of God.
Today, on Easter day, celebrate His resurrection and remember that He truly is the Son of God. Have a blessed and happy Resurrection Sunday 🙂