I went to Google search with the word why…….The most google searched question was, “Why do we celebrate Easter?” Well, not the most searched of all time but definetly the most recent, so I thought I would talk about why Christians care so much about celebrating this Holy week. Truly, this very specific week has so much significance as to why we believe in Jesus and why we have so much hope!
Don’t worry, I am not going to go into the exact history and dates, just enough info that you can go see for yourself. I tell my kids all the time, don’t just believe something because you were told. Go find the truth for yourself. I absolutely want my children to make their own decisions and opinions based off of searching for truth. Obviously I point them to Jesus, to God, and ask them to look into it for themselves. When you seek God with your whole heart you find Him. That’s His promise, not mine.
Why Easter? Let’s start with Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday was the Sunday before Christ’s Resurrection. Matthew 21 speaks to this event – Jesus, fulfilling prophecy from the Old Testament in Zechariah 9 and Isaiah 62. At this point, Jesus had been healing the sick, raising the dead, making the blind have sight and casting out demons. The people knew Jesus was the Messiah they were waiting for. When Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey – fulfilling prophecy – they wanted to show Him the royal treatment. They place palm branches on the ground and waved them at Him as He rode by. They proclaimed, “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19, Mark 11, Psalm 118). They were using Old Testament prophetic words while Jesus was fulfilling them before their eyes. Jesus was recognized as the One long awaited for.
Jesus was arrested later on in the week and then Good Friday happened. Good Friday marks the death of Jesus. Which, if left right there would make Jesus’s story much like the story of just another nice prophet or another good spiritual guru. When His followers would make the trip to visit the burial site, the bones would be there just like the rest of them. You won’t find the body in His grave.
Good Friday – this is so significant to us as Christians because we needed a way to God. God is holy and we are quite the opposite. All of us are sinful and know and do evil, and we needed saving. As humans, we needed a sacrifice on our behalf to atone for what we have done. So many people, so much sin and evil, what on earth could be enough for all of us to be right in the presence of God? Only the blood sacrifice of the Son of God. God decided, in His perfect wisdom and perfect will, that only by purifying us with a part of Himself could wash us clean. We couldn’t do enough to make us good enough, He had to be the good enough. And He is so much more than good enough.
Then Sunday happened. I can imagine how sad the followers of Jesus were to watch His horrific death. How must they have felt?
Just a little sidenote here, there is a ton of historical evidence of all of this that is found in other reputable sources other than the Bible. Historical accounts of Jesus, His death, lots of eye witness accounts. It’s out there – go look!
What happened on Sunday? Oh, just what a touch of what makes Jesus so very amazing – He came back to life! So many witness accounts. These witnesses were then so compelled to go share the Gospel – to the point of death. This continues to this day. Many Christians around the world are horribly tortured and killed for their belief.
Jesus defeated death and the grave by His resurrection! Everything He said, how could all of this not prove His Diety? For those of us who believe He was the Son of God who came to save us – we are just that – saved. And we know it. Jesus told His present day followers He had to go so He could send them a Helper. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in.
Jesus’s followers asked what they were to do when He said He had to leave them. He told them Another was coming and they should go and wait. They would know when the Helper came. When the Holy Spirit fills you – you know it. Then and now. The Holy Spirit is our assurance.
How do we know the Holy Spirit is with us? He’s our guiding force when we walk with God. When we pray and seek Him and obey……not only do we watch events happen in our lives that can only be explained by our amazing God, but we have the ability to feel Him in us and around us. Ask any of us who belive that Jesus is the only way and profess to have a relationship and not a dead set of religious rules. We will be THRILLED to tell you about it!
Easter is a big deal to us who believe! We celebrate the fact that we are saved – we have life after death and we have a different kind of life here on earth because of what God ordained, Jesus said yes to and the Holy Spirit loves to help us with.
Why even try to believe in Jesus? Well, what if we are right? I love C.S. Lewis in general but a favorite quote of his is this:
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
― C.S. Lewis
Not only, what if are were right, but what if you gave it the chance to see if we are wrong? What if all our experiences became yours, too? What if you felt the peace, encountered God on earth like we say we do? Instead of just deciding we should be wrong – see if what we are saying is right? Go find out for yourself – with an open mind of course. I promise, if you seek Him you will find Him – and you will be eternally grateful that you gave Him a chance.