Through my years as a pastor people have identified to me a number of issues they have with Easter. Some are offended by the word Easter. They claim its origins are in ancient pagan festivals. They believe that at some point the church “Christianized” these unholy celebrations in order to be acceptable to a wider audience. These folks usually prefer Easter to be known as, Resurrection Sunday.
There are those who are put off by the practices of colored eggs, baskets and chocolate bunnies. I admit I still chuckle every time I see the candy ad with the clucking rabbit.
I have also heard the laments of those put off by the commercialization of the holiday. Easter is often the only Sunday of the year, unless Christmas falls on a Sunday, we see young boys in suits and ties or girls wearing those fancy dresses with lace on the hems to church. I imagine the clothing industry loves Holy Week.
Here is what I think is the problem with Easter; setting aside one day a year to highlight Jesus’ resurrection trivializes the most important event in all human history. His resurrection is so fundamental to the Christian faith that to have it memorialized just once every twelve months is like the man who expresses his love for his wife only on Valentine’s Day. Believers should celebrate Christ’s resurrection everyday because without His victory over the grave there would be no Christianity or hope of eternal life. No salvation! Paul writes this, “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without foundation, and so is your faith.15 In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ-whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Therefore those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 19 If we have placed our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.” (1 Cor 15:14-19)
Pastors love Easter because it is typically the highest attended Sunday of the year. While I take joy in a full sanctuary when many gather to receive their annual infusion of the gospel, I’m sure you agree that it is a sad commentary on the state of the church. Imagine the disciples, on discovering their Lord risen from the grave saying, “Let’s start a holiday so we can celebrate the event this same time next year!” Never crossed their minds. They were ecstatic over His resurrection everyday. Monday gave as much opportunity to tell others about the miracle of life everlasting as Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.
Be encourage everyday by the reality of His resurrection.