The Reverend Dr. Elmer L. Gillett
3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scripture. 20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (I Corinthians 15:3-4; 20-22)
This Sunday, millions of people around the world will celebrate Easter, the greatest event in the history of the Christian Church. This is a good time for us to reflect on the significance of Easter. Easter, for many is a time for Easter egg hunting, fuzzy teddy bears and Easter bunnies. You will find a fairly good size selection of cards on display at the stores. However, the vast majority are entirely secular. They range from the “thinking of you at Easter” variety to the ones which have pictures of fuzzy teddy bears, rabbits, and Easter eggs. Frequently there is a “Spring is Here”; associating Easter with the coming of Spring, and the happy thought of leaving behind a dreary winter and looking forward to the fresh new life which signals the coming of Spring. Not many cards contain a cross, an empty tomb, or mention the name of the Lord Jesus.
The greeting card displays of most stores are alike, and we would have to agree that the resurrection of Christ is not considered very significant by the marketplace. Easter bunnies and eggs have won “hands down” over Christ, the cross of
Calvary, and the empty tomb.
I am convinced, however, that many of the people who attend Easter Sunday services accept the resurrection of Christ as a fact. However many have not come to recognize the purpose of the resurrection.
The resurrection of our Lord means that the sacrifice for sinners has been paid, once and for all, by the Lord Jesus Christ, and that this sacrifice has been accepted. The meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ's victory over death. His resurrection symbolizes the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him. The meaning of Easter also symbolizes the complete verification of all that Jesus preached and taught during His three-year ministry. If He had not risen from the dead, if He had merely died and not been resurrected, He would have been considered just another teacher. However, His resurrection changed all that and gave final and irrefutable proof that He was really the Son of God and that He had conquered death once and for all. Today, the meaning of Easter, for millions of Christians, is that of honoring and recognizing Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, and His glorious promises of eternal life for all who believe in Him.