For many of us, ‘The Importance of Celebrating Easter’ is to enjoy the festivities and celebrations it involves. It brings up the question, “Why is it important to celebrate Easter?” Is Easter all about the mundane celebrations, or is there a spiritual meaning and reason?
Just like any other holiday, we often get caught up in the bloom and gloom of the season. Yet, I want us to throw our nets in the deep seas of enlightenment, to see what we can discover as it pertains to Easter and its importance in the life of the child of God.
To find this out, we first have to take a look at the origins of easter to see if we can find any connections. Was ‘The Importance of Celebrating Easter’ the same for our ancestors, or do we have a different take?
What is the origin of Easter?
It is thought that the earliest record of Easter celebration was by the early Jewish Christians around the mid-2nd century. Though we hold many views in this regard, we can all agree that in truth, ‘The Importance of Celebrating Easter’ is in recognition of the death and ultimate resurrection of Christ. In other words, our Lord was crucified, and then He was raised from the dead. To identify with His resurrection, we celebrate Easter.
There are also mixed views as to the origin of the word ‘Easter’. Some believe the english word “Easter” comes from Eostre, or Eostrae, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. Others hold that Easter derives from ‘in albis’, a Latin phrase that’s plural for ‘alba’, or ‘dawn’.
I personally don’t think this information is important enough to cause a philosophical conflict. What I do believe though, is that ‘The Importance of Celebrating Easter’ is not in the word itself. We should celebrate the great redemption we receive as a result of the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Easter is a reminder that ‘death is dead’. The Apostle Paul identified with this victory over death in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 where he wrote;
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider the victory we now have, that not even death cannot prevent us from living. This victory is the essence of Easter, and the reason we have to celebrate.
With all this said, let us further answer the question; What is ‘The Importance of Celebrating Easter’?
Eventhough the list could be quite extensive, I will look at three of the most important reasons Christians should celebrate Easter.
Let us look at them.
1) Easter Represents New Life
Easter is celebrated at the onset of spring time, and spring time comes just after the harsh reality of the winter months. The beauty of spring is the newness of life it is filled with. Spring also brings across the ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.
From a spiritual perspective, we could say the same thing. We could say that Easter signifies Newness. After our winters of despair and great grief, we often venture the lush greenery of spiritual life and hope.
I for one have experienced the harsh realities of Canadian winter, and I have also seen the warm welcome of spring. This, I compare to the perplexities we often face. Our difficulties are often lethargic long, yet we can look forward to the joy that comes in the morning.
If you have ever walked through the graveyards of a dead place, then you will also understand the need for newness in these badlands.
As Jesus walked the valleys to His own death, we can remember His great grief and His piercing pains. The Bible says that they spat on him, slashed and ridiculed him.
28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. Matthew 27:28-30
Imagine being in this position of torture, and then consider that Jesus could have summoned the angels to rescue Him. In the depths of His whilst, Jesus uttered, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus was saying here, “Father, Father, why have Thou forsaken me.” Jesus also came to the position that “Yet it’s not my will, but Yours be done.”
Jesus knew that in enduring the pathways of this harsh spiritual winter, He would inevitably reach the cisterns of spring.
Something must die for another to live
In the presence of death, Jesus marched with confidence to the cross. This was because from the very beginning, Jesus’ mission was to bring Newness. Furthermore, the way to new life was death. With all this said, Jesus endured His cross.
Jesus in His own words said ;
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24
The truth is that Jesus purposely endured His cross and it is because of this endurance, that we now have life through His resurrection from the dead.
For many of us, we have had to endure great tribulations for righteousness sake. Some of us have also walked across the netted ends of despair. I want to encourage you, “Don’t lose heart!” It is not that we cannot escape our tribulations, but we must patiently and purposely endure because it is the right thing to do.
Paul the Apostle said;
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
As you go, remember that Newness is the change we seek and the way to newness is death. This is because for the new to come, the old must go. The old man of sin must die, in order for the new man of righteousness to live.
2) Easter Is a Reminder
One of the most sacred spiritual ceremonies that took place before Jesus’ death was the Lord’s supper. The Lord’s supper was the last meal that Jesus had with His disciples during His life on earth. This meal took place just before what we now celebrate as Easter. In 1st Corinthians 11:23-25 we read;
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
The key takeaway from this gathering was Jesus saying to His disciples “As much as you do this, remember!” How many times have you forgotten about key events in your life (Husbands forget anniversaries all the time)?
Many people will mark off the important dates on their calendars in order to remember these days. This is the same thing we do when we celebrate Easter. This is a time that we mark off on our calendars as a reminder of our ‘Living Hope’ in ‘Jesus Christ’.
Easter acts as a reminder of the death and the resurrection of our Lord. Jesus said “Do this in remembrance of me.”
As we travel through the corridors of time, and as we face the great trials of everyday living, it is important for us to remember in order for us to endure. Let us remember the death of Christ, and that it is through His death that we have life. When we face death, it is this (His) Life that sustains us.
3) Easter Gives Us Hope
There is no greater hope than the fact that not even the great enemy of death can prevent us from living. This is the hope we have as a result of the death and the resurrection of our Lord. As we look at ‘The Importance of Celebrating Easter’, let us never forget this truth.
There is one thing that is common to every christian, and it is that we have to partake in the death of Jesus Christ. This means that we must suffer for righteousness sake. It also means that we choose righteousness over convenience.
We always have a choice whether or not to choose the righteous way or the easy and convenient one. If Jesus chose the convenient way, He would have called the angels to rescue Him from the cross. Nonetheless, Jesus chose the way of the cross, which is the way of righteousness. Jesus chose the greater good rather than the greater comfort.
When we suffer for righteousness sake, we can remember the Easter story and we can find great hope. We can hope in the fact that because of the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we now have Life. When we experience deadness, it is this life and hope that sustains us.
The Easter holiday is a time we have set apart as Believers to remember the Life of Christ that gives us hope. When we remember this, we can never be disappointed because the Bible says that hope does not disappoint.
As we conclude
Let us not get caught up in the celebrations without reflecting on the true meaning of the Easter season. Regardless of the motives of others, let us celebrate for the right reasons.
Let our celebrations be motivated by the wonderful work of the Cross in which we now find Life. As we face the tribulations we endure, and as we reflect on ‘The Importance of Celebrating Easter’, let us be reminded that Easter signifies a New Direction, New Hope and New Life.
I pray that you will endure your own cross, and that as you reflect on the death of Jesus Christ, you will also find His abundantly life. Be Blessed!