Being April, this may seem odd that I’m going to talk about the other important Christian holiday.
But if I were to ask, “Which holiday is the most important Christian holiday?” what do you think most people would say?
It’s quite obvious that out of the two holidays, Christmas gets top billing. The minute Halloween is over, Christmas steps in and we’re inundated with commercials, Christmas shows and movies, festive decorations, Christmas gift ideas, and ultimately an anxiety-inducing countdown to the holiday. For two solid months, it’s all we think and talk about.
Easter on the other hand gets one weekend and then we’re on to the next thing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the birth of Christ is not monumental or critical to our faith and daily lives. It is. His birth ushered in a whole new way of believing. But it’s not the pivotal moment of Christianity. Easter is.
I read it this way once in a sermon featured on the Keep Believing website: “If Easter had not happened, Christmas would have no meaning. If the tomb is not empty, the cradle makes no difference. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then he really is just a misguided Jewish rabbi with delusions of grandeur. If Easter is not true, then Christmas is only the story of an obscure baby born in an out-of-the-way village in a forgotten land 2000 years ago. It is Easter that gives Christmas its meaning.” Not the other way around.
Without the resurrection, there would be no Christianity. Read the New Testament and you’ll notice that when the first Christians preach, they don’t mention the events that transpired in Bethlehem; rather they focus on the empty tomb in Jerusalem. Why? Because it’s Christ’s death and resurrection that gives us everlasting life with God. It is the point of Christ’s birth and life on Earth. It is behind the very purpose of his death. He died to give you and me life.
Another salient point: Although Christmas is all about gift-giving, we did not receive the greatest gift until Easter, thus the reason I entitled this post “Christmas Comes Two Times a Year.” Jesus’ death marks the moment when we are offered the only gift with everlasting meaning: true life after death.
This Easter, we must remember the reason for the season. Jesus died … there is no doubt about that. He died for you, rose from the dead, and has extended the invitation for you to do the same… so the question is, do you accept His invitation?