Candy, colorful hard-boiled eggs, bunnies, honey ham, and marshmallow Peeps. Easter= all of the above. We stuff eggs full of candy (and money if you have cool grandparents like mine😋), hide them, tell kids that a bunny did it, and send them off to find the eggs.
But then, on the same day we (Christians) thank God for sending His son, and we praise Jesus for dying and raising again. We celebrate an empty tomb, a corpse that became a not-corpse, and salvation from our detrimental sin.
But with all of that stuff going on in one day, it can be difficult to focus on what is really important. And even though the feasting, the family time, and the endless amounts of sugar are all fun, the truth is that Easter is about Jesus.
Why Easter Is ImportantJesus, the Son of the Creator of the universe, was betrayed by one of his own, delivered into the hands of angry men, and was hung by nails onto a wooden cross. He hung there until he died. He was mocked, ridiculed, and questioned. His God-hood was doubted. "If you are really the Son of God, then get down from that cross", they yelled at him (Matt. 27:40). And he could have. He had the power to. But you see, if Jesus had removed himself from the Cross (something I'm sure he would have loved to do), we would not have hope.
The whole point of Jesus being on this earth was to be our sacrifice. In the Old Testament, God's people made animal sacrifices to God in repentance for their sins, but God knew that we needed and sacrifice that was more effective and permanent. He knew we needed someone completely perfect and innocent, to take our place as a holy sacrifice. We needed a true and perfect sacrifice to satisfy the debt of our sins. And Jesus became that sacrifice. He died for us, and God accepted that. He could now look at us as holy children because Jesus accepted the punishment that we deserved. Now, when God looks upon us (if we believe in Jesus for what He did for us), he doesn't see our wrong-doing, our selfish hearts, or our impure intentions. Instead, he sees the righteousness of Christ reflecting off of us. And God is pleased by it all.
But Easter is not just about Christ's death; it's also about his resurrection. If Christ had died, but wasn't powerful enough to overcome death and hell (the punishment for sin), we would still have no hope. Death had to be defeated. This doesn't mean that people won't die physically, it means people don't have to die spiritually. Hell was defeated. Jesus, when he rose from the dead, gained victory over eternal punishment. Jesus overcame death and rose back to heaven to be with God the Father. Now we have victory through him! Praise be to God!
So When You Celebrate Easter...It's okay to hide eggs and give your kids candy, and it's okay to have a big family lunch. What's not okay, is for those things to be the focus. If all your kids know about Easter is candy, bunnies, and eggs, there is a problem. If you are more excited about Easter lunch than your salvation, there is also a problem. Jesus should be front and center- candy and eggs should be secondary.
Enjoy your Easter, enjoy your family, but most of all, praise Jesus and give him glory in all you do! Thank God for giving his son, and share this gift with everyone you know- not just on Easter Sunday, but everyday for the rest of your life!