Easter is upon us!
Have you noticed how the holidays have gone from celebrating a person or event to a lot of, well, not celebrating an individual or event?
Thanksgiving, for example, has moved from a day set aside to thank God for the blessings He bestows upon us to a large meal, football, and shopping.
The Christmas season has moved from the birth of Jesus Christ to snowmen, reindeer, a visit from Santa, and shopping.
Within American Christendom, there are two types of regular church goers – type one is the person that if they are not there, you know something is wrong, or they are traveling; type two also attend regularly – every Easter.
Easter is the Christian holiday. Easter is essential to Christianity.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God – He is God in the flesh. Jesus created the universe, and everything is held together by Him (Colossians 1:16-17). Think of this claim – that a man is God, the creator of the universe; it is a claim that can only be taken by faith, but the greatest piece of circumstantial evidence the claim is true is the empty tomb – Easter.
Take away the deity of Jesus Christ, and Christianity does not have much more than a moral code nearly all religions share – do not lie, cheat, or steal, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Other religions require work or even martyrdom of the individual for eternal life while Christianity required the work and bloody sacrifice of God for our eternal life. To the Christian if Christ is not God we have no hope. Without the resurrection of Jesus there is no resurrection.
Easter is more than brand new clothes or a rabbit’s wiggly nose; it is the foundation of everything a Christian believes.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is essential to salvation, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:8-10).
The resurrection of Christ is also essential to what we believe about the future prophecies of the Bible. Without Christ’s resurrection we have no hope for the rapture or coming resurrection, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18). Did you notice, that even the comfort we receive is dependant on the resurrection?
It is through the resurrection we have a “lively hope” and receive God’s mercy, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).
May every Christian carry with them the spirit of Easter all year, a spirit of hope, new life, and blessings in Christ. May all type two regular attenders morph into type ones because of the very spirit of Easter.
Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Visit his website, [email protected] All scripture KJV.