By Rev. Dalton Lilly
This week we celebrate Easter, a spring day that is recognized in many different ways around the world. I have a question for you. What is happening in your life this Easter? What does Easter mean to you personally? I ask because Easter has become one of the most misunderstood holidays on our calendar. In the last few decades, it has lost much of its true meaning in America.
For many it is a day of chocolate rabbits, Easter egg hunts, festive parades and the notion of an Easter Bunny bringing baskets of candy to children in the night. For some it’s new clothes for spring. For some it’s the one day a year they get up early and attend church to hear an Easter sermon. And for some it is a spring break from college and a few days of rest from the classroom. Yes, Easter has become so many things, it is hard for some to tell what Easter really is.
Our family no longer refers to Easter as just “Easter.” To us it is “Resurrection Day.” We memorialize it as the greatest life-changing event that ever took place on planet earth. The death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, the Messiah. According to God’s Word, He is the Son of God, born of a virgin into the world and lived a sinless life giving His life for our sins. Even the sins of the world. It is “Resurrection Day” that marks the beginning of new life. A pathway for every man and woman to receive forgiveness of all sin and to have eternal life through believing in the Savior Jesus the Christ.
finally Many people have forgotten what really took place in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. Jesus humbly road a small donkey into the city and was celebrated by multitudes of people who even laid palm leaves before him honoring him as a king for His compassion and love for them. That same week Pharisees in their jealousy, hatred and disbelief plotted to murder Him. On Thursday of that holy week they began persecuting Him and in a Roman court on Friday declared Him guilty of crimes He never committed. They mocked Him, scourged Him and dragged Him through the streets bleeding and suffering to a hill called Golgotha (The place of death). There they nailed his hands and feet to a rugged wooden cross and as He bled, they crucified Him. It was there He cried out “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” And there He said, “It is finished” and gave up His spirit for the sins of every human being that will ever touch foot on planet earth. It was there He paid for my sins and yours. But the greatest and most wonderful thing then happened. They laid His dead body in a tomb and shut it up with a stone. Then on Sunday, the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, the angels rolled away the stone. He was not there. He had risen! He has risen indeed! Jesus triumphed over death and sin. He alone was born into the world to give himself for our sins so that we may have life.
So now you see why Easter is not just another holiday to us. It is “Resurrection Day.” It is about new life in Christ, our hope and salvation. What does Easter mean to you? I hope it will mean this to you from this day forward.
May God bless you richly and often,
Rev. Dalton Lilly, Narrow Road Ministries
~~Photo credit to “Romolo Tavani”