Easter is a fun family holiday filled with bunnies, chicks, candy and eggs. However, there is a much deeper meaning in Christianity.
On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most well-attended Sunday services of the year for Christian churches. Christians believe, according to Scripture,* that Jesus was resurrected three days after his death on the cross. As part of the Easter season, the death of Jesus is commemorated on Good Friday, always the Friday just before Easter. This is an important time for Christians because Jesus’ death is such a pivotal part of our belief. Why?
Adam was created a perfect man, and he could have lived forever. Instead, he sinned, and the penalty for sin is death (Genesis 2:17). By sinning, Adam brought death into the world to be inherited by all of his descendants. Jesus came to earth to take Adam's place in death. Therefore, Adam and all mankind must be released from death. "By man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead...as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:21,22. It's as though Adam (and his children) are in the prison of death. Jesus took Adam's place in prison. Therefore Jesus' death guarantees Adam's and all of his descendants' release from prison. How wonderful! Christ will restore to mankind all that Adam lost when he sinned. As it teaches in Romans 4:25 (NIV), "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification."
Easter is a commemoration of these events, and a time for reflection and meditation on their significance in our lives.
Through the centuries, many traditions have become associated with Easter. Eggs and bunnies are a common symbol of new life and fertility, so they seem to match well with a holiday that celebrates resurrection (new life). Over time, this led to candy and chocolate in the forms of eggs and bunnies, and games and traditions took hold. While these can be fun and entertaining, it is important to remember the true meaning of Easter, which is a memorial of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection.
*See Matthew 27:45- 28:10, Mark 15:33- 16:20, Luke 23:26-24:35, and John 19:16-20:31 for the accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection.