Easter has become a wonderful spring celebration with a variety of different meanings to different people. It marks the inauguration of spring and with it the anticipation of warmer weather. We expect to see the flowers blooming, and the landscape turning a rich green. We celebrate with family gatherings, picnics, Easter bunnies and Easter egg hunts. The commercial establishment recognizes this time by having Easter sales. And, of course, on Easter Sunday morning, many arrive at church in our Sunday best to celebrate the holiday, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What about Easter? Is it fact or fiction? Is it something we have conjured up in our minds? A make believe story about God’s love for us, that merely sounds good and brings a sense of peace and satisfaction to those who hear the story or is it real? Is it reality?
These same questions have been raised throughout time. They aren’t new to our generation. Those questions have always surfaced with every generation that has ever lived. Which begs the question; is the Easter story true and relevant to us today.
Being a Christian I believe the Bible has something to say to us about the holiday we call Easter. Throughout the fabric of God’s word, we learn about Jesus and His crucifixion and resurrection.
We even read how people didn’t believe. (1 Corinthians 15:12-20). They had the same questions about Easter that we have today. Things haven’t changed.
Brook Foss Westcott, English scholar and professor at Cambridge University wrote: “Indeed, taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or variously supported than the resurrection of Christ. Nothing, but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of the deficiency in the proof of it.”
For 2000 years, people have tried to logically refute the resurrection of Jesus and found the task impossible. It’s much easier to prove Jesus rose than to deny the resurrection.
Yes, the Bible is a good and accurate source for us to turn to for our answers. But, I believe the greatest statement for proof of the resurrection of Jesus is in the lifestyle of the people who have been changed and transformed in their thinking and living, because they have accepted Jesus as personal Savior of their lives. The Bible is full of such stories. In fact you probably know an individual who has had a life-changing experience with Jesus Christ.
Warren Webster tells the story of a Muslim from Africa who became a Christian. Some of his friends asked him, “Why have you become a Christian?” He answered, “Well, it’s like this. Suppose you were going down the road and suddenly the road forked in two directions, and you didn’t know which way to go, and there at the fork in the road were two men, one dead and one alive – which one would you ask which way to go?”
If Easter had not happened – it really wouldn’t make a difference which road we took would it? However, if Easter did happen, it should make a tremendous difference in our lives.
Jim Elliot was a passionate missionary and believer of the resurrected Jesus Christ. In 1956, he was killed by those to whom he shared his faith. He prayed, “Father, make me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing the resurrected Christ in me.” He had come to the fork in his road, and he wanted to personally become a fork in the roads of others.
Easter can and should make a difference for all of us. –Pastor Don Cowan