What is Easter?

For many people, Easter signals as a time to watch the flowers bloom, trees to bud and the grass to grow again. A time when creation itself is reborn after a cold winter. Others may think of pastel colors, Sunday dresses, matching outfits and family photos. For children, Easter is a time for egg hunts, candy and large chocolate bunnies. For others, Easter is a scheduled time to refocus spiritually. Some will even give up certain aspects of their life to focus more closely on God and his word. Easter is ultimately a time of renewal when much of the world stops to focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, what makes Jesus’ resurrection so important?

It would be no understatement to say the resurrection of Jesus means everything to a Christian. Believing in the resurrection of Jesus is foundational to one’s faith. Paul writes about the importance of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:17 when he says, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins.” Paul goes on to say, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). If there is no resurrection of Christ, then Christians are without hope in this world.

Many have debated the validity of Jesus’ resurrection. This was also true during the time of Paul. Earlier in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, he writes, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.” Not only does Paul prove Jesus’ resurrection is consistent with the scriptures, but there were also over 500 eyewitnesses to this testimony. Paul spoke of this to prove we can trust in the resurrection of Christ.

The apostle John wrote a similar sentiment in 1 John 1:1-4, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” Our belief in the resurrection does not have to be out of blind trust but faith in the report of credible witnesses and confidence in God’s divine word.

Therefore, we celebrate because through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, we have forgiveness from our sins and a restored relationship with God. Romans 6:4 says, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Colossians 2:12 says, “having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” Jesus’ resurrection from death was supernatural and proves he is the Son of God who came to save us from our sins.

The resurrection of Christ grants us both forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. In John 11:25-26, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, we too can be raised from the dead and live eternally with God when we choose to follow him.

The foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the fact Jesus was crucified for our sins and rose again on the third day. To obey the gospel, we must believe in the gospel message, we must repent of our sins, we must confess our belief in Jesus, and then be baptized into Christ to wash away our sins. At this point, God allows us to be in a restored relationship with him (Romans 1:16-17; 6:1-14).

It is wonderful that on Easter many people worldwide stop their busy lives to meditate on Jesus, his teachings and his resurrection. However, doesn’t our Lord and Savior deserve more than just one day? If Jesus loves you so much that he gave up his life and endured a horrible death on a cross, shouldn’t that love inspire you to live the rest of your life in service to him? The Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to transform every aspect of your life. Why limit this to just a couple of days out of the year? Are you ready to be transformed, renewed and reborn?

To find out more about Jesus and the grace he extends to all people, check out our course In Need of a Savior.”

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