Updated: Jan 18, 2021
To the average Christian family, it is probably the second most anticipated Christian holiday, yet probably the most under-celebrated Christian event- with Christmas taking first place. Christmas is a month dedicated with gifts, food, and parties. As you think about Easter, there is not much to it other than a long weekend. Perhaps, you can count lent (as some Christians & Catholics partake in) that leads to that day. I am not here to compare our calendar schedule or suggest anything in that matter. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Easter comes as a two-toned celebration- one of sorrow (Good Friday) and the other of joy (Easter Day). This is a time where we celebrate His death and three days later we experience the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which signified the eternal forgiveness of our sins.
I LOVE CHRISTMAS.
I love Christmas AND I love Easter as well. However, in recent years, if I had to rate the two in importance to myself, Christmas time would take first place every time. Why? Well, I think it’s pretty obvious. Just think of the mountains of wrapped gifts and presents! The time you get to spend with your family! Oh wait, how can I forget the FOOD and DESSERTS! People getting time off work and/or school! Ohhhhh… and did I already mention presents?
Yes, we can all agree that Christmas is such an exciting time. However, I’ve quickly realized in the past 4-5 years (since God changed my heart) is that my excitement came from the materialistic & social aspects. My excitement came from spending time with my family, eating food, and most importantly- opening up my gifts. Each one of these things is fine, but that was the extent of my focus. That was Christmas to me. Those things had overtaken the actual reason that I should have been excited – Jesus Christ. Period.
You may have thought that this article was about Easter. It is. I'm getting there, but let me tell you more about myself before I continue. I am European- Portuguese to be exact. Some of you know, Portuguese are big on Easter and all other Christian religious holidays. You name the Christian holiday and there's a dinner or lunch celebration to go with it.
REFRESH YOUR MINDSET.
Anyways, over the past 4-5 years, there's been a different tug on my heart about these Easter holidays. Easter used to just be another long weekend, with another family meal, an extra church service on the Good Friday and Easter Sunday. To be honest, it's still hard to snap out of the thought that it's just another long weekend with a Christian theme to it. But, in the last couple years or so, I’ve made more of an effort to make it personal. Yes, it is just a set day that we celebrate the death & resurrection of Jesus Christ, but in our busy lives, it's easy to just leave it as that “weekend” which simply plays out the Bible story we have known since Sunday School.
My newly reformed opinion, as of lately, is that the Easter celebrations are probably the best and most important events of the Christian faith. Yeah Christmas marks the day Jesus entered human existence (can't have one without the other), but Easter marks the day of our eternal redemption! That last sentence deserves to be said again! Easter marks the day of OUR ETERNAL REDEMPTION! And for reading simplicity, I will refer to Easter as the resurrection.
The fact that Easter actually happened means we get life after death. The fact that Easter actually happened means that we do not have to suffer the consequence of hell (John 3:16). This is HUGE. Without Easter, there is no Christianity. Without Easter, there is no substance to anything we believe in. There would be no hope, nothing to live for, no reason for anything. We would be lost and destined to pay our own price for our sins. Think about it this for a second!
What is death to you? Try to imagine it. What would it look like? What would it say? What would it feel like? Try to imagine whatever it is you think will happen when that day comes. Now imagine heaven and hell – [you are destined for one of them]. Imagine standing before the God of this universe and Him taking your whole life into account; all your sin, and then telling you that you can't come in. At that moment, there are no second chances! You can't reverse time and do anything about it! You're done! You are done for good! Off to hell you go for eternal suffering and separation- a place where people wish they would die – but they can't. Imagine the agony! Imagine the fear! Imagine the sadness of never being able to return! My friend, that was you before Christ. That trembling idea of hell was once your reality.
Now imagine this! Jesus died & rose again- defeating the power of death and sin, which today we recognized as Easter. You finally stand before God. Since your faith has been in Jesus Christ, He takes your whole record of sin and blots it out. You are sealed by His blood that was shed, you are HIS forever. Eternal life is yours, because you are marked by the Blood of the Lamb. You are eternally secure, because of your faith in Christ & what Christ did on that Cross. No second chances needed and no need to look back. Eternity is yours.
Easter is the most tragic, yet the most astounding, marvellous, and glorious time in the history of mankind. Our Saviour had to die for a moment, so that we could live forever. Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, God has continually changed my heart over many years. It began with one prayer- “Lord, show me Yourself! Show me who You are!” God answered my prayer! He showed me Jesus. He is the answer to all worlds problem. His precious blood was humbly shed, now I stand blameless and clean. I am complete in Him. It all begins with a prayer that lead me to Easter. Today, I want the same for you.
Make Easter time personal to you, because He did it personally for you and me.