This Sunday, billions of people all over the world will celebrate Easter. For many, this celebration is just another holiday on the calendar and an excuse to eat candy, find some plastic eggs, have a meal with family and buy a new outfit at the mall for the Spring season. I love candy and my “peeps” as much as the next guy, but as a Christian, I also believe this day represents more than just a cultural celebration of bunnies and bowties. I believe the true message we celebrate on Easter represents the greatest news the world has ever known.
I believe there are many wonderful ways to spend time with your family this Easter, and while I have nothing against painting Easter Eggs or filling Easter baskets with candy (we’ll probably be doing both at our house), the most important things you can do with your family this Easter come in response to what Jesus has done for us…
“And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:10-11 (emphasis added)
In response to Jesus giving His life as a ransom for our sins and then conquering death so we’d never again have to fear it, we can be made right with God through faith in Christ. We can have that same life-saving, death-conquering spirit living within us!
I believe there are four simple ways we enjoy the holiday in a memorable and God-honoring way. This Easter, I encourage you and your family to do five things:
1.Go to church (even if you don’t normally attend one).
I work at a church, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that churches put their very best efforts and resources towards creating an uplifting experience for guests on Easter Sunday. Find a church in your area and attend a service. Then, I encourage you to keep going! Attending church on Easter is good, but connecting with a church community for weekly worship is far better. Plus, you’ll probably end up with some new friends with us always a good thing.
2. Pray about one area of your life that you need God to “resurrect.”
The Good News of Easter is that God sent His son (Jesus) into the world to live a perfect life and die on the cross the take the punishment for our sins. Jesus Christ then conquered death and hell once and for all by rising for the dead three days later. That moment of the resurrection is the moment the world changed and it catalyzed the early church to courageously proclaim the Good News of Jesus with no fear of imprisonment or death. God’s resurrection power is still at work and can raise “dead” marriages, dreams, finances or anything else.
3. Give thanks for one “miracle” that you’ve experienced in your lifetime.
Have you ever experienced the birth of a child? Have you seen a breathtaking sunset? Have you ever felt hope break through a situation that seemed completely hopeless? These are a few of God’s everyday miracles, and the miracle of Easter provides a beautiful opportunity to thank God for all the miracles in our lives.
4. Reflect on the sacrifice Christ made for you.
Easter is all about celebrating the triumph of Christ’s resurrection, but the cross is what made that triumph possible. Some Easters, I’ll watch a few clips from the film “The Passion of the Christ” just to remind myself of the agony Jesus suffered because of His love for you and for me. Remembering Christ’s suffering gives us strength in knowing we’re loved, gives us humility in knowing He paid a price we could never repay and gives us hope in knowing that we can now and forever be free from the shame and penalty of our sin.
5. Eat some good food and celebrate life with people you love.
Heaven is going to be a celebration, and gathering with loved ones to celebrate life and share a good meal is a beautiful foreshadowing of heaven. Even if you’re not around family this Easter, make some plans to have lunch or dinner with neighbors or friends. After all, breaking bread with friend was one of Jesus’ favorite pastimes.
If this post encouraged you, please share it using the links below so we can encourage others too. God bless and happy Easter!