“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Cor. 15:17-19)
Joy and celebration. Excitement. Anticipation. Closeness. Love for all men. Kindness. Hope and peace and happiness. These are the emotions that characterize one of our very favorite holidays – Christmas.
Christmas is different from most other holidays. It’s more than just one day; it has its own season, which begins earlier and earlier every year. More so than any other event, it inspires people to love others, give generously, and care for the less fortunate. Christmas is the biggest recognized celebration we have. And there is much to be celebrated in Christmas for we who follow Christ – we remember His birth, the fulfillment of so many prophecies. The promised Savior finally coming to earth. We celebrate the miracle of His arrival, the divine provision for His survival, and the scene being set for future revival.
We love Christmas and all it represents. After all, it’s been called the most wonderful time of the year. And it is a wonderful time. But is it the most wonderful? For Christians, is the birth of Christ really the most amazing thing that God has done for us?
Paul didn’t think so. In 1 Corinthians 15, he is reminding the Corinthian believers that the end of Christ’s earthly life, not the beginning, is the most significant. Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is the clincher. Jesus came to earth in a highly unusual, even miraculous, way, but He left it in even grander fashion.
Paul tells the Corinthians that the resurrection is key. Some among their number had stopped believing in it, and Paul warned them that without the resurrection, faith in Christ would mean nothing. It is His resurrection that defeated sin and death. It is His resurrection that confirmed Him as the Savior. It is His resurrection that gives us hope for salvation.
Compared to Christmas, Easter seems to be such a meager holiday. It’s only one day. It mostly consists of going to church and then hanging out with family. We dress it up with eggs and bunnies and baskets, but it’s still no Christmas.
But for we who believe, Easter should be the real celebration. Easter points to our real reason for joy – the resurrection of Christ. Because if He had stayed in the tomb, Christmas would be pointless. The birth of Christ did not accomplish our salvation; the resurrection did. Of all we have in life to celebrate, the resurrection is the most powerful.
So don’t treat this Easter like just another fun holiday. Remember what’s behind it. Remember what it was like to be lost and dying in sin, and how it felt to be set free from that death sentence. Remember your Savior, and how His resurrection is the reason for your hope. And let your joy shine before all, so that they will know that Easter is the real celebration.
*Visit our Events page for info on upcoming Easter-related events.