In this season that we commonly call Easter, there is a lot of attention around this “holiday.” Many retail stores change their displays and bring out their seasonal merchandise including lots of candy, eggs, baskets, etc. I’m not here to debate this form of celebration of the “season” that we’re currently in, but I do wish to discuss what Christians should be focused on (and celebrating) during what we call the Easter season.
The word Easter itself (according to www.history.com) comes from the sixth century author St. Bede the Venerable, and writes in the Ecclesiastical History of the English People that the English word Easter comes from Eostre, or Eostrae, referring to the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. This of course is why the celebration of the “season” involves rabbits and eggs. After all, rabbits don’t actually lay eggs, but both are symbolic of fertility. Now, I realize that we typically celebrate Easter in the spring which also begins a time of new life in the area and climate that we live in, and for Christians the resurrection is about new life, but what I’d really like to discuss is what this season points to for me and for other followers of Jesus Christ.
Without what God did (brought Jesus back to life after his crucifixion and death), there would be No eternal life (life after death) for anyone! The resurrection (in the Christian belief) means Christ’s rising from and overcoming death. In the Bible verse John 3:16, Jesus tells us that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. How would He able to make such a claim if He did not know the way to receive everlasting life?
The Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 15 and verses 54 and 55 that when this corruptible puts on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? That is a real reason to celebrate (eternal) life – in this and every season! When you put your trust in God through Jesus Christ, you can have new life or what some call a new lease on life!
The apostle Paul also wrote about this in Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Finally, in the words of Jesus himself, He said “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me, though He may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). What do we really believe and celebrate during this “season?”
The writer is the state chairman for reviveOHIO