The Real Reason We Celebrate Easter… and It’s NOT About the Bunnies
Easter celebrates the most astounding event in human history.
The miracle itself is spectacular—a dead man coming to life after being entombed for three days. But Jesus’ resurrection was more than that. Much more. When He rose, He not only overcame death, He defeated it.
And in doing that He freed us from spiritual death and made us “alive,” with Him (Ephesians 2:4-6).
What an incomprehensible gift.
I’m delighted we focus on Christ’s resurrection, rather than His suffering on the cross. In that miraculous event, we are given great hope for our future. And the remarkable blessing of a loving, personal relationship with a risen, living Savior.
But in our pursuit of the positive, of the jubilation we enjoy, I fear the pendulum has swung too far.
So much of our celebration has become about bunnies and jump houses and Easter egg hunts and ham dinners.
So let’s back up a few days. Let’s go back to the garden. To Gethsemane.
There we see Jesus, praying, pleading with God, His Father.
Tears streak His face. His chest heaves in anguish.
He is desperate.
He is fully God, fully human. As a human he has certainly encountered stubbed toes, bunged up knees and other physical afflictions. He knows pain. He has experienced sadness and crushing disappointments. He’s no stranger to emotional anguish.
And He knows what lies ahead.
He is about to endure as much pain—physical, emotional, and spiritual—as any man can possibly endure.
And then He will die a gruesome death.
What if you could go back in time?
What would you say to Him there the garden?
Would you somehow try to comfort Him? Would your heart ache with His? Would you share tears with Him? Would you cling to Him, stroke His neck, His back, His beautiful head? Would you try to talk Him into running away, escaping?
But if He gave in, chose to turn His back on His God-ordained destiny, you would lose Him forever. You would be without a Savior, and without a Best Friend.
You would be eternally lost. The whole world would be eternally lost. And that’s not God’s plan.
Love compels Jesus. Resigned, He expels a racking sigh and rises to His feet.
You watch Him leave, knowing You can’t save Him without losing Him. He goes on to do what only He, the beloved Son of God, can do.
This loving, tender Man is spat on and ridiculed. His perfect, beautiful body brutally shredded with a whip.
Then come the nails. The horrific nails.
And He endures it all for loves’s sake—love for you. And love for me.
At last, “It is finished.” He is finally free of the unrelenting agony.
Three days later, the impossible happens and we are given a new lease on life—and eternity. Through His excruciating sacrifice a way is made for us to BE with Him—now and forever! We are no longer in bondage to sin and darkness. We are invited to drink at the Fountain of Living Water—Almighty God Himself!
That’s much to rejoice about! So let’s celebrate and enjoy our Easter festivities and ham dinner.
But first and foremost, let’s remember:
Easter is NOT about the bunnies.