Probably the most significant holiday in the Christian tradition.
I suppose we could certainly argue between Christmas and Easter, because with Christmas, there is no Easter.
Without Jesus being born, he couldn’t die. And if he didn’t die, he couldn’t live AGAIN.
That’s really the significance of this day in Christendom.
Jesus didn’t stay dead. He was definitely dead on Friday. And then on Sunday, he wasn’t dead anymore. He had flesh. He ate. He was definitely alive. And he was definitely seen by lots of people.
It is precisely his RISING from the dead that births the Christian movement.
On Saturday, after Good Friday, the movement Jesus started was completely dead. Nobody believed. Not Peter. Probably not his mom. Nobody. After all, he was dead. And dead people can’t head movements or set up eternal kingdoms or overthrow the Roman Empire or anything like that. They’re just dead.
We celebrate that Jesus isn’t dead, but is alive. And all the really weird stuff he said starts to make sense. He hangs out for FORTY days with his people before heading back up to heaven. I’m sure he’s encouraging them. Eating more food. Possibly preparing them for what was to be ahead. Then he left and sent the Holy Spirit.Thousands upon thousands were saved in the days immediately following Pentacost.
Then, the persecution began. Rome did absolutely everything within its power to crush this upstart religion. History bears witness to the things done by Roman generals and Emperors to kill The Way (which is how it’s referred to by those following The Way). We cannot begin to imagine the numbers of people slaughtered in the first 100 years of Christianity.
It survives. Not only does it survive, but it thrives. It thrives in a way that’s completely impossible and illogical.
And it does so because of the Resurrection.
It does so because of Easter.
So, fellow Christians, remember. If not for the resurrection, we believe nothing. We believe falsehood and lies.
The more I learn about history, though? The less I believe that these are lies. But don’t take my word for it. Research it for yourself.
And remember, Easter – the empty tomb, not the cross – is what gives us our hope.
Have a blessed Easter.