What Does easter Mean To You?
by Greg Quinn
April 7th, 2023
I remember as a young boy, as far back as I can recall, the Easter Egg Hunts we had at the local church on Easter Sunday morning. I remember getting up early and Mom helping us get dressed in our (sometimes) new clothes and shoes. I remember going to church early where the older cousins and aunts and uncles would be hiding the eggs for the "Easter Egg Hunt". I remember the ladies with the big hats and people dressed up. Even Uncle Dalton in his overalls had on a white shirt and tie! As I reflect upon Easter Sundays when I was a bit older, I remember some of the songs at church, and remember Dad (the Pastor) getting up and preaching a message.
I remember Boge as a little boy crawling around the floor. I remember holding my baby brother Anthony on my lap because all the pews were full, and his pointed little butt making my legs go numb. I remember the Egg Hunt and how we all tried to find the "Golden Egg" which was key to claiming the big Easter Basket on display. I remember throwing away the colored boiled chicken eggs and eating the candy eggs. I remember the Easter Sunday Lunch which was one of the best meals of the year. The big Easter Ham. Aunts and Uncles and Cousins and church friends all enjoying a meal together. Aunt Mary's German chocolate cake. Aunt Rita's Red Velvet cake. Aunt Betty's famous chocolate pies. Aunt Trisha's laugh. Uncle Hambone telling stories. Uncle Clay B playing the hymns on the church piano. The singing of songs. The laughs with family. Cousin Dwayne telling the latest joke that Mom and Dad didn't want us boys to hear. Eating until I felt I was going to pop. Easter Sunday was a special day.
As we are now in another Easter season, a question we should all ask ourselves is this. "What does Easter mean to me?"
Is it just about egg hunts and food and fellowship with friends and family? Or is it about much more?
The real meaning of Easter has nothing to do with what most people think about Easter. Nothing to do with the Easter ham. Nothing to do with the nice clothes. Nothing to do with good food and great desserts. Nothing to do with an Egg Hunt, or Cadbury chocolate eggs. Or dinner with family.
What does Easter mean to you?
Easter is the pinnacle for Christians. The thing that sets Christianity apart from all other religions of the world. The exclamation point on the birth and life of Jesus. What defines our relationship with the one true God, the Creator of the universe. More important than any other holiday. The most significant day of our lives each year. The point that gives us hope in life eternal. The main thing.
Christmas, the birth of Jesus the Savior, has little significance without the resurrection on Easter. Jesus' perfect life as a model for all of us means little to prove He is the Son of God without his raising from the dead on that first Easter Sunday. The crucifixion of Jesus to take upon his body the sins of all the world mean little without His resurrection from the dead that Sunday. The resurrection of Jesus proved everything he claimed. It proved He was the Son of God. The resurrection proved He was God and had power over death. It proved He was able to die for our sins and take the punishment for the sins of the world upon Himself in our place. The resurrection proved if Jesus arose from the dead, then His promises to us of eternal life were also true.
Every other religious leader in the world, in all of history, lived and died and
was buried. Period. Nothing after that. Mohammed is dead. Buddha is dead. Every other religious leader throughout history died and remains dead. Only Jesus, the Son of God, lived and died and was buried, and then AROSE!
Jesus' resurrection was witnessed by a great many people. No witness among these hundreds, even with threat of death, ever recanted their testimony. After more than two thousand years the facts cannot be refuted. The resurrection of Jesus that we celebrate on Easter Sunday, signifying Jesus' rising from the dead, gives all of us the ultimate hope of humanity, eternal life with the God who made us and a blessed hope of life beyond the grave.
The entire Bible is the story of God, of man, of Jesus our Savior, and of His rising from the dead.
Mark 16:6 "Don't be alarmed", he (the angel) said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! See the place where they laid him."
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." If Christ is still dead, then how can He be our Savior, for He could not be the Son of God if He died just like all men.
The entire plan for the future of mankind rests in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Unless Christ was raised from the dead, there can be no Kingdom and no returning King. When the disciples stood at the place where Jesus ascended into Heaven after being raised from the dead that first Easter Sunday morning, they were given assurance by angels that the Christ of the resurrection would be the Christ of return in glory. Acts 1:11,
"Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into Heaven will come back in the same way you have seen him go into Heaven."
The fact of Easter brings significance to our beliefs and importance to our lives. Easter gives us peace and hope. Easter provides the basis for prayers. Easter gives hope to those who are sick, to those who are dying, and to those who are dying in their sins. Easter gives value to our lives. Easter affirms a life after death with God, and Jesus our Savior, in Heaven. Easter gives reality to Heaven, a place of no sickness or pain or death. Without Easter there is no eternal life. Easter affirms the only hope for mankind is salvation from their sins and this can only be accomplished through believing in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died in our place to bring us back to a loving God, and who rose victorious over death to prove we too will live forever.
What does Easter mean to you?
This year, among all the commercialism of this most holy of days, reflect upon the true meaning of Easter. Jesus Christ the Son of God came to earth, lived a perfect life, died in our place taking upon himself the penalty of sin and death, and rose from death victorious so that we also can live forever with God in Heaven.
How can we change our meaning of Easter? Simply believe. That's it. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins and rose that first Easter Sunday so that we too can live forever. Accept Jesus as your personal Savior. Pray something like this:
"Jesus, I now believe that you are the Son of God. I believe that you came to earth, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and died in my place on a cruel cross. I believe that through your shed blood my sins are forgiven, that through your stripes on your body that I can receive healing in my body, and by your resurrection from the dead I too can live forever. I accept you today as my Savior and my Lord. Thank you for saving me, Jesus."
If you prayed this for the first time, then the significance of Easter is yours today. If you prayed this many years ago, reflecting upon what Jesus did for us all can bring a refreshing significance once again to you about Easter Sunday.
What does Easter mean to you?
I hope by now it means more than Egg Hunts, great food, fancy clothes, and time with family and friends. I hope it means a celebration of how the Savior of the world rose from death to give us life eternal.
God bless you and your family on this great Easter holiday.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!