As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
Mark 16:5-6 (NIV)
A few days ago, I asked my mother if we would be going to my granddad’s church as a family for Easter Sunday. My younger brother walked into the room and said, “Easter isn’t a holiday.” I stared at him, confused for several minutes. Then I corrected myself. “Are we going to Granddad’s church for Resurrection Sunday?”
Yes, for Christians, today is not about bunnies, dying eggs, and going on Easter egg hunts. All of that originates from a pagan tradition celebrating fertility, which is why I am uneasy about churches organizing Easter egg hunts for the children. We don’t want to compromise, and we don’t want to confuse those who are lost about the significance of this day.
Today, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our savior. Today, church attendance typically skyrockets, the Gospel is taught, and hopefully, because a lot of people who don’t attend church on a regular basis are present, many are saved.
So what is the Gospel?
Jesus is God in flesh. He came down to earth not to condemn the world, but to save it, because He knew that the payment for sin is death, and that only someone perfect, like God Himself, could live an earthly life free from sin, and then die for all mankind, washing their sins clean with His blood. But He didn’t just die. No. On the third day, He rose from the dead, so that anyone who believes in Him and believes that He is our risen Lord, will have eternal life.
It’s as simple as that. Jesus is the way to heaven. I know a lot of ‘church folk’ want to emphasize being good and pure, and yes, that is important, but we are human beings. We are going to make mistakes; it’s in our nature. However, with Jesus, we can come as we are, and He will welcome us; He will save us. All we have to do is confess with our mouths that He is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9).
Happy Resurrection Sunday, everyone!