Christmas and Easter each have different reasons to bring about celebration. Why both of them are vitally important to us, I would argue that Easter’s reason edges out Christmas. And, yes, I know we actually couldn’t have one without the other. Still, here are the reasons that I think Easter gives us just a smidgen more to celebrate.
On Christmas, we celebrate the fact that God loved us so much, He came to earth to live like one of us in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. Some people have trouble with the concept of God in the form of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I read recently a really interesting metaphor to help us understand this concept (sorry, I can’t remember where I read it to give full credit). Think about the sun and all the power and life it brings to our planet. The sun itself is visible in the sky. The rays that we can’t see give life to plants. We also feel the heat the sun provides on our skin. The Son and the Holy Spirit are functioning like the heat and UV rays of the sun as far as the relationship between all three are concerned. Like the sun and its physical properties, almighty God exists in the three forms we know as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As Christ walked on this earth, He referred to Himself as the Son of God. He also told us that He would send the Holy Spirit to be with us when He no longer was physically walking the planet. God, despite what the deists or materialists might say, is in everything and about everything that we experience in this world, if we will just open our minds and hearts to let Him in.
So why is Easter about so much more than bunny rabbits and chocolate eggs? Easter celebrates the triumph of Jesus, God-made-man, as the culmination of His walk on the earth sees fruition through His resurrection from the grave. If Christ had not allowed Himself to be taken prisoner by the Roman authorities,to be beaten and mocked by soldiers He could have called a legion of angels to defend Himself from, to be nailed to a cross to die an ignominious death, to have suffered the humiliation, pain, and torture of that death as a sacrifice for all of us, when He Himself was perfect and required no sacrifice on His own behalf, then there would be no hope for salvation for the rest of humanity.
In order for the promise of Easter to be true, Christ has to be the divine living as a man, dying as a perfect man for the sins of all, rising as a triumphant God who has set all sinners who are willing to believe free, and making Himself continually accessible for those believers through the strength of His Holy Spirit made available through the gift of grace.
Easter celebrates the faith that lets us believe without seeing. It celebrates the truth that the omnipotent God, whom no one can fully understand, makes Himself available to us in multiple, wondrous ways that open to us as easily as the plastic, pastel eggs that will hold prizes and candy on Sunday morning, as long as we open our arms in faith and believe.
Yes, Christmas celebrates the miraculous birth of God-made-man. But Easter celebrates the awesome gift of grace that became available when that same man rose from the grave to offer salvation to all who believe.
Have you accepted this gift of grace? Does your life reflect an Easter-every-day attitude? You don’t have to wait until this Sunday to accept the gift of grace and live the kind of love that spreads that gift to the rest of your world.
Now, that’s something to celebrate.