I get to work from home today and every Friday (yipee!), which is a nice way to ease into the weekends. With this post, I’m taking a little break from work and contemplating the upcoming Easter weekend.
My wife and I were both raised in Catholic ritualism and liturgicalism but came out of that and accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior by God’s grace through faith alone. As a result, we don’t follow any type of liturgical calendar. For us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” and we don’t worship according to holidays. Some claim the word, “Easter,” derives from Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of procreation with her egg and rabbit fertility symbols. But others claim the word is a derivative of the Old German word, “eostarum,” which means “dawn” or “daybreak.” See here for more details regarding the controversy over the word, “Easter.”
Irregardless of the various theories regarding “Easter,” we do know that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world on the Jewish Passover as the Lamb of God and rose from the grave on the following Sunday morning. Many of my Christian brothers and sisters are eagerly looking forward to commemorating the resurrection of our Lord on Sunday. As I said, I’m not big into religious holidays and liturgical calendars because of my past, but on Sunday morning I will also be praising the Lord for dying for me and conquering sin and death by rising from the grave, although I try to be mindful of Christ’s death and resurrection every day.
However, Easter can definitely be an evangelization tool. One half of all Americans will be in church this Sunday celebrating Easter although the vast majority have never accepted Christ as their Savior. Unfortunately, most churches in America have drifted into apostasy and will not be proclaiming the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone this Sunday.
We invited our unbelieving son who lives a few miles from us and his family to our church Sunday morning but he declined because they’re having Easter brunch with his unbelieving girlfriend’s unbelieving family. That’s understandable but there’s always an excuse not to attend church with us. As with most people scurrying around on a religious holiday, it’s a case of missing the forest (their need for Christ the Savior) for the trees (holiday activities). But they’ll be coming over for Easter Sunday dinner and we intend to do a little evangelizing then.
Let’s pray for the lost, the churchgoers and non-churchgoers, and always be prepared to give out the Good News! of the resurrected Jesus Christ. I pray many of those who attend Bible-preaching churches this Sunday will hear the Gospel and will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord!
“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” – Romans 14:5-9
“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 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. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians15:12-22