It’s Springtime! Even if the calendar didn’t con- firm it, the evidence is all around! With flowering bushes bursting forth in vivid colors; new leaves turning trees bright green overnight; the pollen that those trees create and that settles on anything out- side, and our lawns asking for a haircut, we can’t deny the reality that Springtime has arrived. Of course, we must be pre- pared for the inevitable surprise cold snap, which should never really surprise us, because it happens every year. And then, we have had some snow fall in April. So be prepared for whatever comes our way! Another annual event that reminds us of Springtime is the celebration of Easter. The date of Easter varies from year to year, but always falls between March 22 and April 25. This year Easter is being observed on April 4. Interesting enough, the date of Easter is determined by the moon! Specifically, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full Moon that occurs on or just after the spring equinox, which is the first day of spring.
Scholars differ on where the word "Easter" come from? Some think it is derived from various Latin, Greek, or even Ger- man words. Others think it is associated with an ancient goddess. In the end, it is unimportant where the word "Easter" comes from. What is important is what Easter represents for us. It was on Friday of Passover week that Christ was crucified on the cross. After His death, His body was taken down and placed in a borrowed tomb. Then, on the third day, He came back to life! He defeated death and in so doing also defeat- ed the curse of sin. He was resurrected on Sunday, the first day of the week. So that’s why we always have the celebration of Easter on a Sunday.
A lot of other traditions and practices have become associated with Easter through the years. For many people, their understanding of Easter revolves around the Easter Bunny, chocolate eggs, Easter baskets, Easter egg hunts, dying Easter eggs, and even having an Easter ham! They don’t understand what Easter is all about, and why it is a special day.
But those who are believers know that if it were not for the resurrection on that first Easter Sunday, then our faith would be in vain!
Paul writes in I Corinthians 15: 1-4, "1: Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2: By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Other- wise, you have believed in vain. 3: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4: that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." That’s what Easter is all about! It is a recognition and celebration of the victory that Christ won over sin and death. It’s ok to have an Easter egg hunt and to give your kids an Easter basket, and even to have a ham for lunch on Easter Sunday. But don’t forget why we have Easter, and be sure to celebrate His resurrection! Don’t forget to take your family to church.
By Guest Columnist John Vaughn, Pastor, Cross Roads Baptist Church