If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll agree with me that Easter is no more about fluffy bunnies, plastic eggs, and chocolate than Christmas is about cute angels, decorated trees, and chocolate. This is our baseline.
And we have to remember that Easter is not about the disciples who abandoned Jesus, or the criminals crucified next to Him, or the women who came to the tomb -- just like Christmas is not about the shepherds, wise men, or even Joseph and Mary.
Easter is about Jesus. And not just Jesus in general, but about how He was resurrected from the dead.
What's the Big Deal?Why am I making such as fuss about this? Maybe it's because we once went to a Good Friday service at a church where the focus was on the disciples. Jesus was never mentioned, not even one single time.
Maybe it's because of articles that I've read throughout the year (and especially this time of the year) that make a case that Jesus wasn't the Messiah, or never claimed to be God, or especially that He didn't rise from the dead.
Or maybe it's because of some of my most popular articles on my blog, which get lots of push-back from supposed intellectual atheists. For example:
- How Do We Know That God Is Real? (including a response to my favorite comment from an atheist)
- "How Do You Know That Jesus Is Real?"
- I Am a Six-Day Creationist
Regardless, this is a great time for us to remember that all of Christianity is based on one fact -- the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ. Different than any other belief system, Christianity is based on a historical event. Eliminate the event of the Resurrection, and you've nullified Christianity.
Paul, who authored more books of the Bible than anyone else, says this in I Corinthians:
12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
Other ReadingsFor further reading on the topic of the resurrection of Christ, here is a list of other articles:
- If Dead Men Don't Rise (Tim Challies)
- Why Does the Resurrection Really Matter? (The Gospel Project)
- Five Truths About the Resurrection of Jesus (Desiring God)
- The Greatest Victory in All of History (Desiring God)
- Five Errors to Drop from Your Easter Sermon (Christianity Today)
And here are some links to help you celebrate Easter with your children:
- Easter Memories (some things we did three years ago)
- The Connection of Passover and Easter
- Recommended: The Case for Faith -- Student Edition (not specifically about Easter, but a good book to help answer questions of faith)
- Four Things to Teach Your Children This Easter (Desiring God)
- The story of redemption
- The importance of the resurrection
- Christ is the Passover Lamb
- Cross Truths
This Easter (and everyday), preach the truth and necessity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Preach it in your family, in the church, and with your neighbors.
"Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching." II Timothy 4:2
**image courtesy of Desiring God