Easter is a holiday that many of us celebrate, but what does Easter mean to you? Is it decorating eggs, going on an Easter egg hunt, and visiting the Easter Bunny at the mall? If so, there’s SO much more to it. For Christians, Easter is a day of joyful celebration. It commemorates the resurrection of Jesus, which took place on the Sunday after His death on the cross. Many people consider Easter to be the most important Christian holiday of all. It celebrates Jesus’ victory over death. It celebrates our hope of eternal life forever.
You see, without Easter, there would be no Christian faith. The disciples, who were followers of Jesus, would have gone on with their lives with the same fear and despondency that they experienced immediately after Jesus’ death. Without Easter, hopelessness and fear would have continued to pervade their lives.
As dawn broke on the first Easter Sunday morning, some of Jesus’ grieving followers decided to visit His tomb. They were still heartbroken, but the hope of Easter began to invade their hearts and lives as they encountered an empty tomb. There they heard a clear, angelic message that Jesus had risen from the grave and was alive.
Other disciples continued in their despair until they met Jesus on Easter evening. There they touched His nail wounds and ate and drank with Him. His resurrection gave the disciples proof that He was truly the living Son of God and had done all that was necessary for their salvation and the salvation of all people. The disciples now had a message they could not contain, a message that had to be shared with the world.
Easter was originally an early spring, pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. It honored the Saxon goddess Eastre. When Christian missionaries brought the Gospel to the pagans, they connected the spring celebration of the pagans with the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. This holiday became known as Easter and carried a new and powerful meaning: Because Jesus lives, we can live forever.
What meaning does Easter have for YOU? For me, it means that I am saved and loved unconditionally. It means that I have a compassionate God who gave us His son to die on the cross and be raised on Easter so that I am saved. It means that I am free. Not free from all the pain and suffering this world brings, but free from eternal death. I know that I will one day be with Jesus in heaven for eternity because He died for you and me. If you want to start your journey on learning what Easter means to you, join me at church this Easter and see what Easter really means.