Why do we celebrate Easter? Easter is not merely a Christian sub-culture’s celebration that marks a change of season, from winter into spring. It is not that we have only a vague belief in a generic death/rebirth cycle, like a tree that is barren and then blossoms which we then relate to the ups and downs of our own lives. And as much as we enjoy family gatherings and traditions, Easter Sunday is not primarily special because of the flowers or eggs or chocolate or even school break. No! We celebrate Easter because we rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
But it is important for us these days to make sure that we are clear that we believe Jesus Christ really did die on a cross outside of Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago. And on the third day He was raised from the dead. We believe in His bodily resurrection. Yet we don’t just remember the resurrection of Jesus as if it has no significance for us today. This mighty miracle is our great hope. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)
Do you believe what Jesus says? Do you believe what Jesus has done? Is your faith rooted in the objective, historical reality of His life and death and resurrection? If so, then REJOICE! He Lives!
Thankfully, we do not have to wait an entire year to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection again. Although our formal celebration of Easter is only annual, our weekly Sunday gathering is designed to focus us on our Risen Lord! The day now set apart for rest and worship is the day when Jesus rose from the dead:
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” (Luke 24:1-6 ESV)
If you believe, then you have wonderful reasons to come together every Sunday to praise your Savior. This month, especially as we do celebrate Easter, take time to reflect on the benefits of Christ’s resurrection. What are those benefits? The Heidelberg Catechism asks and answers that question: “What does the resurrection of Christ profit us?” “First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, that he might make us partakers of that righteousness which he has purchased for us by his death; secondly, we are also by his power raised up to a new life; and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.” (Q&A 45)
HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!
Have a blessed month of Sundays celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!