Each spring, at parks such as Dan Porter Park or on church grounds, many American families gather to watch children search for plastic eggs. Parents often fill baskets with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans to greet their children on Easter morning.
Church worship services overflow when half of the American population attends on Easter, often doubling regular attendance. Many people go to church out of tradition, not for religious reasons. According to Forbes.com, most people observe the holiday as family time — 47 percent — and only 36 percent celebrate for religious reasons.
Yet, isn’t Easter more than egg hunts and baskets full of goodies?
On Easter, we recognize the most significant event in history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But what does that really mean?
In the beginning, when God created the world, he designed mankind to live in relationship with him. Then humans rebelled against God and broke their relationship with their Creator.
This event brought sin into the world. Sin is any act that is contrary to the will of God, not just doing evil things.
Now, the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). All of the human race was doomed to die and be separated from God forever.
Sin not only separates us from God, but it also separates us from each other. We have conflicts with one another because we have a selfish sin nature. This nature is the root of the many problems we have at the personal, community, national and international level.
Throughout time, we humans have sought different ways to find fulfillment that can only come from a relationship with God. Some seek fame, fortune and power. Others work or academic success. Still others sex, drugs and alcohol. Many even use religion to soothe their souls.
That’s the bad news. Now for the Good News.
God always had a plan to restore our relationship.
He sent his son, Jesus, to live a perfect life on earth and to die to pay the penalty for our sin. To show he had power over sin and death, on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. He appeared alive to his disciples for 40 days before returning to heaven.
One group included 120 eyewitnesses.
His resurrection is what we celebrate each Easter. Some Christians prefer to call Easter “Resurrection Sunday.” On this day, we rejoice because Jesus Christ’s resurrection removed our sin, and we can be made whole by having a relationship with God forever.
Those who follow Christ have the hope that whatever trouble life brings, he will help them through it. This hope makes life worth living.
Do you need hope? Ask Jesus into your life.
“… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).