In our culture, Easter is a fun holiday celebrated by families and friends. But, Easter’s decorated eggs and bunny ears have seemed to cloud the meaning of the original celebration.
Why do Christians celebrate Easter? Christians celebrate Easter because it’s the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. His saving power made it possible for Christians to live free of sin and shame. Jesus’ sacrifice gives Christians the ability to have a relationship with God both now and for the rest of eternity.
In America today, Easter has been made all about egg hunts, bunnies, baskets, and candy. Christians know that the meaning behind Easter is much greater than that, and it’s found in solely the person of Jesus Christ.
Why Do Chrisitans Celebrate Easter?
Christians celebrate Easter because they want to remember and rejoice in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Jesus wasn’t just a good man or a prophet, He was and is Lord.
Jesus came down to earth to live a sinless life.
He humbled Himself in this way in order to be sacrificed in our place and raise from the dead so that we could have a relationship and life with him for eternity.
Christians Celebrate Easter Because It’s The Celebration Of Jesus’ Resurrection From The Dead
Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live.’John 11:25 CSB
Jesus’ story is called the gospel, which is the good news of his life, sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father.
It’s the best story history has ever told, and it happened all because God loved the world so much, that he sent Jesus to die for us.
It’s no wonder that the single greatest event in history is celebrated by true Christians as the single best holiday ever, but most people forget why Easter is so important.
Easter is important and celebrated because Jesus died on a cross, hung between two criminals, and suffered at the hands of sinners. After the third day in the tomb, he rose again, defeating sin and death for us.
After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. There was a violent earthquake because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb.
He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken by fear of him that they became like dead men.
The angel told the women, ‘Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. For he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you.’
So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell his disciples the news. Just then Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ They came up, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.
Then Jesus told them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.’Matthew 28:1-10 CSB
The main reason why Easter is such a big deal for Christians is this. Jesus didn’t deserve to die for us, but He did.
He didn’t deserve to be humiliated and murdered on a cross, but He knew He was doing it for those who would believe in him and repent.
After he accomplished what he set out to do, Jesus was victorious. He didn’t just rise from the dead, he rose and gave us the power of new, resurrection life too.
If we have new life in Him, how could we not celebrate Easter?
Christians Celebrate Easter Because Of Their New Life In Jesus
Since Jesus died for us as believers, we don’t have to wait until heaven to know how good He is.
We don’t have to continue in our old lifestyles but instead be transformed by Jesus and receive new life.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.Romans 6:4 ESV
Baptism is another way to celebrate new life since it symbolizes the washing away of all of our sins. But what’s great about this new life, is that it isn’t only available to us when we get baptized or on Easter.
Through the Holy Spirit, new life is available to us all the time.
The Holy Spirit is our helper, and gives us everything we need to live a godly life. In him, we have the fruits of the Spirit to help us carry out the new life we now have.
Jesus ascended back to the Father for this same reason so that we could experience the Holy Spirit as our Counselor or Helper throughout our life.
Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you.John 16:7 CSB
After Jesus rose, he fulfilled what he said in John 16:7 be sending us his Spirit, and by making new life possible for everyone.
Jesus also promised us that he’s coming back again to create a new heaven and new earth. Everyone who follows him will get the inheritance of a new life for eternity, and experience his love forever.
Christians Celebrate Easter To Glorify God
Colossians 3:17 tells us to do everything for the Lord. That includes celebrating, painting Easter eggs, going to church, and anything else we can think of.
Jesus’ own actions were unto the Lord and he sought to obey and glorify the Father in everything He did.
Jesus’ own act of going to the cross and saving us from our sins glorified the Father more than anything.
His obedience allowed God to accomplish what could never be done by any person ever by simultaneously raising Jesus from the grave and defeating sin and death.
Jesus is completely worthy of all of our praise and celebration.
Even Jesus and the Father celebrate over people who enter His kingdom and they dance over their children.
How Do Chrisitans Celebrate Easter?
For Easter, Christians don’t just put on egg hunts or eat candy to celebrate. They prepare their hearts, some put on candlelight and sunrise services, and all over the world they worship God together and love their neighbors on and after Easter.
Christians Celebrate Easter By Worshipping God
Easter is not about you or me. It’s about Jesus. It’s about the Father’s love for us and worshipping Jesus for who he is.
Worship doesn’t have to be a few songs on Sunday morning. Worship is a lifestyle where we can praise God from our hearts and spirits at all times. But around Easter time, Christians like to go all out for Easter service, and for good reason.
It’s the best time to gather as a congregation and celebrate the greatest person and event in history.
Christians Celebrate Easter By Preparing Their Hearts
Because there is so much truth and power in the Gospel message, it’s easy to be mind-blown by it as a new believer. But, for Christians who have heard Jesus’ story and his gospel over and over again, it’s hard to not callous your heart against it.
That’s why Christians invite the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts and reveal to them the wonders of Jesus’ love again.
Christians do this by recognizing Ash Wednesday, taking the Lent fast, and remembering Jesus’ sacrifice as well as his love.
Without the pain, Jesus went through as a human, and without dying an excruciating death, Jesus’ couldn’t have saved us.
The joy set before Jesus was knowing that he would be coming again and bringing all believers to himself.
One day, God will create a new heaven and a new earth, and he calls us to be ready for him and prepare our hearts for him.
We can do this by simply celebrating his first coming and recognizing that only faith in Jesus alone saves us.
Another way to remember Jesus’ sacrifice is through celebrating Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
Christians Celebrate Palm Sunday And Good Friday Before Easter
Palm Sunday is the day referred to as Jesus’ Triumphal Entry because it’s when Jesus entered Jerusalem the week before his death. It doesn’t seem triumphant at all until we realize that he came to triumph over death itself.
During his entry, Jesus humbly rode into the city on a donkey as people worshipped him by laying their clothes on the ground to prepare a way for him.
They waved palm fronds for him shouting “Hosanna” which means Rescuer, or Savior.
Celebrating Palm Sunday reminds us that Jesus is our Savior and prepares our hearts to accept him, not reject him like many of the Israelites later did at his crucifixion.
The day Jesus was crucified is now remembered on Good Friday. It’s called Good Friday because Jesus’ sacrifice for us was good, despite the extreme evil he experienced on our behalf.
Because Jesus rose on Sunday morning, three days after his death just like he predicted, we celebrate Good Friday as a way to acknowledge the magnitude of his death while also holding onto the hope that Sunday brings.
Christians Celebrate Easter by Loving Their Neighbors
After Palm Sunday and Good Friday, Christians celebrate Easter within their community, with their churches, friends, and family.
The best way to celebrate Easter though is to love your neighbor as yourself.
Loving our neighbors is the second most important commandment, right after loving God with all of our heart, soul, and mind.
Our neighbors are not just those who live next to us, but they are everyone we come in contact with. Jesus loves them, and wants us to love them too. That’s why churches and Christians invite their neighbors and friends to Easter services and community events.
I remember my own church throwing Easter Egg hunts and putting on games for kids so that they could get to know their community and love them as Jesus would.
The eggs and games were a great way to show people we cared about them and their families, but what was even better than that was sharing the gospel with them.
The gospel and story of Easter isn’t just good news, it’s the best news ever told.
This is why it’s important to Jesus and to Christians that unbelievers hear the gospel on Easter and on every other day of the year.
If you’re a Christian wanting to share the good news of the gospel with your neighbors this Easter, invite them over for an Easter dinner or a church event, be the hands and feet of Jesus, and serve and love them as He would.
The Alternative To Celebrating Easter
There’s nothing in the Bible that demands Christians to celebrate or not celebrate Easter, but there are some Christians who feel personally convicted to opt-out of Easter because of its pagan roots and because of what it means to most Americans today.
Easter isn’t all bad, but it is highly commercialized and rarely celebrated for the things it should be celebrated for. That’s why some Christians prefer to celebrate Passover instead.
Passover is the Jewish holiday that celebrates how God saved the Israelites from the Angel of Death in Exodus by passing over them.
Jews celebrate Passover from the view of the Old Testament, but Christians can celebrate it too knowing that Passover richly symbolizes Jesus’ sacrifice throughout the Old and New Testament.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites needed the blood of a spotless lamb to save them from their wrongdoing, but now, Jesus’ blood saves us from all of our sin and guilt, and Passover celebrates this by remembering all of the foreshadowings of Christ during the time of the Exodus.
For the celebration itself, a Passover meal is prepared along with matzah, a thin, cracker-like bread that represents Christ’s body broken for us. This leads to taking communion with the friends and family you’re with.
The whole point of celebrating Passover as a Christian today is to remember what Jesus has done for you instead of getting distracted by what the world says is worth celebrating.
Even the holiday of Easter itself is built off of Passover, and if you’re a Christian looking for an alternative to celebrating Easter then Passover may be a better celebration of the holy day for you.
If you want to learn more about why some people do or don’t celebrate Esther – click here.
Celebrating Ressurection Sunday Every Day
Celebrating Easter, or Passover, the right way is moving and inspiring. It reminds us of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for us and the victory he accomplished over sin and death.
Because of Jesus’ victory, we get to participate in new life with the Holy Spirit and have a relationship with Jesus both now and for the rest of eternity.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 ESV
Celebrating Jesus and his resurrection, grace, and power is the best thing we could ever celebrate. And, it shouldn’t be done only one day out of the year.
As Christians, we get to apply the gospel to every aspect of our lives and walk with Jesus every day, not just on Resurrection Sunday. We do this by worshipping God, preparing our hearts for his second coming, and by loving our neighbors.
Having a relationship with Him makes all of this possible, and gaining eternal life is the best gift anyone could ever receive.
Like a child celebrates a long-anticipated present, we also get to celebrate Jesus’ gift of salvation to us on Easter and throughout all of our lives.