Don’t you love Christmas?
I sure do! For years as a kid I thought that Christmas was the best holiday. I got toys and I would manage to consume enough sugar to kill a small horse.
I loved family, colors, the massive hype that surrounded the season, and as a life long church-goer, I learned to love what the season was centralized around.
But as my faith and love of God began to grow, I found a deep and special meaning in the Easter season. Most people realize the importance of Easter Sunday to our faith traditions. But it seems to me that “Resurrection Sunday” can appear like the neglected little brother of the Christian holidays.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Christmas season too (though I try and eat less sugar than my former days). Yet I’ve come to love Christmas and Easter differently, just like I love sunrises and sunsets, or perhaps the way I love the first and last books in a good series.
Further than diverse loves, the Christmas nativity NEEDS Easter.
Thinking about Easter I remember the words of Paul to the Corinthians in 1 Cor. 15:16-19. Here Paul defends the reason we believe in the resurrection of Jesus, saying:
16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Paul minces no words but he continues a few verses later:
21 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22 for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.
The thing I love about Easter is the sense of completeness.
Without the events of Easter, the Christmas story is as useful as an unplugged toaster, or as satisfying as a broken promise.
Jesus came at Christmas, that he could suffer and die on Good Friday, that He (and we) might be raised with Him on Easter Sunday.
As part of our Sanctuary family, I hope and pray that we can take today to stop and dwell on the wonderful day that happened centuries long ago, that you too may be encouraged in our Savior and our God who suffered on our behalf and who delivered redemption— just as promised.