Easter Sunday is the one day of the year we cannot live without. Now, if you stay in bed all day or decide not to take part in any celebrations, nothing will drastically change in your life. Still, Easter is the most important day that anyone could ever choose to observe. Do you fully understand the magnitude of it?
To be honest, no other day really matters at all. Even with all its glitz and glamor, Christmas is not as momentous as Easter. (It’s a good thing Easter has not become as commercialized; that would just distract us from its significance.)
Consider the story you are likely familiar with: Jesus died on the cross, and on the third day He rose from the dead. Now think about how meaningful this event is.
Jesus came into the world and lived among us. He was 100% human and also 100% divine. He had a public ministry of about three years, during which He taught those who listened. He performed many miracles and healed the lame, the blind and the lepers. He drove out demons, calmed the wind and the sea, and even brought back a few people who were dead!
He traveled with His disciples. The twelve who were closest to Him went with Him wherever He went, except at the very end. Jesus was arrested, and His disciples deserted Him and ran for their lives.
Jesus was tried and executed as a common criminal. The ones with Him were confused, distressed and disillusioned. They simply didn’t expect this to happen.
Only a week ago, the people came and gave Jesus a royal welcome as He entered Jerusalem. How could this have happened? And so fast! Wasn’t He the One? Wasn’t He going to restore Israel?
Just as they were getting ready to pick out the curtains for their new offices that they would need for their new positions as Jesus’ lieutenants, their leader was killed, along with their dreams and expectations.
They were about to give up all hope when some of the women came to tell them that Jesus’ body was not in the tomb. Angels there told them that Jesus had risen, that He was alive! He rose on the third day, just as He told them when He was with them!
Later that day, two disciples of Jesus were walking the seven miles back to their home in Emmaus when Jesus Himself came up and started walking beside them. Since they believed He was dead, they didn’t recognize Him. After all, it had been their experience that when a person is dead, they usually stay that way.
When Jesus asked them what they were talking about, they looked at Him like there had to be something wrong with Him.
“Then the one named Cleopas asked Jesus, ‘Are you the only person from Jerusalem who didn’t know what was happening there these last few days?’
‘What do you mean?’ Jesus asked.” (Luke 24:18,19).
They explained that Jesus was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before men and God and that they believed that He was the One who was going to redeem Israel. They told Him of the reports that He had risen from the dead, but everything they said and did demonstrate they didn’t believe them.
You would think by now Jesus would fess up and tell them who He was, but He didn’t. Instead, He asked them how they could be so foolish and slow of heart to believe. He told them everything the scriptures said was going to happen to Him. Even still, they didn’t recognize Him… not until they get home and invite Him in to eat.
“After Jesus sat down to eat, he took some bread. He blessed it and broke it. Then he gave it to them. At once they knew who he was, but he disappeared.” (Luke 24:30,31).
Their hearts were warmed when Jesus explained the scriptures to them, and now they realized that Jesus was truly from God. Only God can raise the dead.
These guys, as well as the twelve disciples, may have been a little slow to believe and understand all that had happened, but Jesus showed His love for them by walking with them and helping them to understand the importance of what just took place.
He didn’t barge in. He took His time, staying with them for as long as it took for them to recognize their risen Savior.
Jesus loves you just the same. He wants you to know the importance of Easter: that He died to take away our sins, that He rose from death and is alive today, and that you can have eternal life with Him, through faith.
If Jesus wasn’t raised from death, there would be no Easter, and at that point, Christmas would be pointless. We would simply be celebrating the birth of a good Jewish teacher, not the Savior. Without Easter, we would not have any hope or future. Without Easter, we would still be dead in our sins and not have eternal life.
Jesus’ death wiped away our sin, and because of His resurrection, we too have been rescued and raised from death.
Hallelujah! Believers have eternal life with Jesus in His kingdom! Celebrate Easter as if your life depends on it, because it really does!