The Faithful gather to celebrate Easter!
I recall, with some embarrassment, in my early 20’s, arguing with a local Anglican bishop, who later went onto become the Archbishop of Sydney, that Christmas was more important than Easter. I stated – that, “without Christmas, we wouldn’t have had Easter” – he graciously replied – “without Easter, we wouldn’t need Christmas”.
I have never forgotten those words, and would definitely echo his words myself today.
The origins of the name “Easter” and how the holiday’s current traditions have come to be aren’t entirely clear. But one thing Christians are sure of is what the celebration means to them. “Easter is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, and the most important event to the believer,” said Steve Vaughn, lead pastor of Crossroads Church of the Nazarene, in Milton.
“Although no one is quite sure where the name ‘Easter’ comes from, some historians tell us that typical secular Easter traditions date back to centuries before Jesus was born,” said Dick DeVett, pastor at West End Bible Fellowship in Laurelton. “Rabbits and eggs were symbols of springtime and new life in near-eastern cultures.” But in the early days of Christianity, he said, Christians adopted eggs “as symbols of new life and birth” as they celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just this past week at our GB company we used Resurrection Eggs to teach the girls about Jesus’s death and resurrection.
Essentially, the resurrection is a foundational part of the Gospel message. The early church based their preaching and testimony on the fact that they had seen the risen Jesus. For us today, the resurrection is the reminder that Jesus truly defeated death and sin on the cross and that in him we can find forgiveness, joy, hope, peace and love.
Without the resurrection, the Christian faith would be powerless and futile. Many have said, “That is why for Christians, Easter ought to be the biggest holiday of the year, even bigger than Christmas”. I love Christmas, the season of joy, music and the holiday cheer. Christmas is the time with friends and family, and in the end, Christmas is celebrating the birth of our Saviour. But Easter is so much more.
Easter Sunday is the time that I get to celebrate that my Saviour rose from the dead. Easter Sunday is a day of hope and a new beginning. It is a day of triumph and excitement. … How exciting to know we have a God who loved us so much that he would send his one and only Son and that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life, according to John 3:16.
That is why Easter is more than a celebration or holiday, it is a day of celebrating our Saviour, and our faith in God, that he is always there. “It’s All about Jesus”
While much of the world chooses to focus on the secular parts of Easter, the most important thing for Christians is to celebrate that first Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday, and all that it means for our lives today. The message of Resurrection Sunday is that life is truly all about Jesus, and that life is available to all who invite the living Saviour into their hearts.
As you gather with the faithful, may you experience the depth of this celebration. Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ is coming back again. Amen!