Every year millions of Christians in approximately 95 countries around the world, celebrate easter. Here in the UK celebrations include; easter egg hunts, egg rolling and lent, alongside special church services and decorations. I'm sure you're familiar with most, if not all of them yourself. I have a confession, I don't actually 'celebrate' easter, but before you pass any judgement let me explain why.
What is Easter?
For those of you reading this that are not Christian, easter is known as the period of Jesus' death and resurrection. It is the pinnacle of the Bible. It's the reason Christ came to earth and it's the account of how He expressed the highest and greatest kind of love known to man, sacrificial love.
Each of the four gospels have an account of the period leading up to this crucial point in history. (You can read the full story in Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24 and John 18-20.)
Some people think that Jesus' death and resurrection was a stand alone event. That couldn't be more far from the truth. From the fall of man, through captivity in Egypt, to the kings, through the prophets we see this common thread of salvation. Jesus. As soon as there was sin there was a Saviour. God knew we could not survive on our own, that no matter how hard we worked humans, by default just can't live up to the standard of perfection. Instead of leaving us to fend for ourselves, God weaved His Son Jesus into the threads of humanity. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Should we celebrate Easter? If so, how?
First of all there's nothing wrong with celebrating Easter in my opinion. I think the problem lies in not what we celebrate but how. As I stated above, this section of the Bible, Jesus' death and resurrection is the main event. Everything in earths history points to this moment. It's the fulfilment of prophecy, the reason we even have life at all and can live free. How can we celebrate that just on one weekend? The sacrifice Jesus made for us should be an every day thing. Not just a few days in April thing.
This quote from one of my favourite authors puts it beautifully:
It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life. By thus contemplating His teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by Him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. - Ellen G White
What can I do to 'celebrate' Easter?
Here are just a few ways you can make this Easter the most meaningful yet:
Go through Jesus' life, read the passages in the gospels and take time to reflect on what Jesus did not just for the world but specifically for you
Write down the verses that stood out to you the most and post them in a place you'll see them. Commit them to memory.
Share the gospel with a friend or family member who doesn't believe
Hold a Bible study and take time to study Jesus' death and resurrection with others
Hold an Easter themed trivia night
Make an effort to reflect on what Jesus did for you every day instead of just over one weekend.
I may not 'celebrate' easter with the rest of the world, or rather in the same way, but that doesn't mean I'm doing nothing. Instead I want to make a conscious effort to reflect on this amazing event every single day. I don't need a bank holiday, a calendar reminder or a special service to give God thanks for the ultimate sacrifice He gave in Jesus.
Do you celebrate easter? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.