Easter is the holiday on which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This one event is the foundation stone on which the Christian faith rests. The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Corinthian church wrote that if Christ did not rise from the dead that their faith was useless (1 Corinthians 15:14). Easter is a celebration of life conquering death. No holiday in the Christian calendar is so celebrated throughout the world of the community of followers of Christ.
Easter is celebrated because it is fundamental to everything that the Christian believes. No day is more essential to the hope of the believer in Christ that this life is not all that there is. Easter is the remembrance that Jesus did all that he said he would do. He told his disciples that he would be crucified but that in three days he would rise from the dead (Matthew 20:17-19).
Jesus staked his reputation, all that he said and did, on the truth that he would be crucified and that he would raise on the third day. The Christian faith relies upon the truth of what Jesus said and did and thus the resurrection is the evidence that Jesus was who he said he was.
To be a follower of Jesus, to give up everything to be a Christian is a radical step and the resurrection is the physical event that declares that such a decision is both justified and reasonable. In celebrating Easter, the Christian declares that belief in Jesus as savior and Lord rests on a sure foundation; the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Easter is a day of joy.
A holiday is most enjoyed when it is a celebration. Following the deep sorrow of Good Friday and the remembrance of the death of Jesus on the cross and the Saturday of waiting in despair at the thought that Jesus, who had been tortured and killed in the most horrible way, was gone forever, the first resurrection day was a breath of fresh air and a breakthrough of the kingdom of God on earth.
Easter speaks to the hopelessness that so many people feel and declares that God can be counted on to do what he says he will do. Just as Jesus lay in the tomb seemingly dead and gone forever, many people have hopes and dreams that seem to have died. But in the celebration of Easter, the Christian is able to affirm that no matter how bad things may seem, God is in control and he will do what he says he will do. The infusion of hope for those struggling with the challenges of life makes Easter a joyous holiday celebration for the Christian.
The Easter celebration holds within it the promise of living with God for eternity.
One of the greatest truths that Christian holds to is that life is not limited to the time one lives on earth. Physical death is only the passing from one plane of existence into another more glorious existence in the presence of God.
When Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again, he became the first of many who would follow after him because of faith in him and trust in what he has done to make them righteous in the sight of God (1 Corinthians 15:20). Since Jesus has gone on ahead, the Christian has the confidence that he or she, following physical death, will join Jesus in the presence of God for eternity. This is truly a reason for celebration and joy.
No matter what this life holds for the Christian, there is the promise of the life that will never end in the presence of a loving heavenly Father who sent his Son not only to die but also raised him from the dead and promises to do the same for all who trust in him.
Easter carries with it the joy of life brought forth from death. The celebration occurs at the time of the year in the northern hemisphere when winter is beginning to give way to spring. The dark winter months are leaving and the light of spring is beginning to appear with regularity. This imagery looks back to the morning when the bright light of resurrection extinguished the darkness of Jesus’ death. Many Christians gather early in the morning on Easter Sunday to remember that first moment when God’s eternal light shown forth from the tomb where Jesus was laid. The stone was rolled away to reveal that Jesus was no longer dead, but that he had risen. Christians gather at sunrise on Easter morning to recall that joyous moment and then carry on that celebration throughout the day.
In coming together on Easter, Christians recall the joy of those first witnesses who expected to find a dead Jesus but instead encountered a risen savior.
People love a joyful celebration and Christians are no different. Easter is a day when very many Christians come together to celebrate the reality that Jesus did rise from the dead so everything that he said and did was true. Easter is a day that reminds the Christian that eternal life is waiting following this life for any who have trusted in Christ for salvation.
Easter is a celebration of life coming forth from death and thus it draws a great number of Christians to gather in the early morning and throughout the day. For all these reasons, Easter is the most celebrated Christian holiday.