Good Friday? Easter?

Today is “Good Friday,” a day in which many memorialize Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, and I have a few thoughts about that:

I was a member of the Roman Catholic church for twenty-seven years, and like all Catholics, I was heavily steeped in the church’s liturgical calendar. Every day was either a “solemnity,” “feast day,” or “memorial.” The most important days on the Catholic liturgical calendar were obviously Christmas and Easter.

After reading God’s Word for several years, I found it increasingly difficult to reconcile Catholic teaching with Scripture, so I stopped attending mass. After a couple years of personal spiritual turmoil, I finally prayed to Jesus Christ, repented of my sins, and accepted Him as my Savior by faith alone! Thank you, Jesus!

As a new Christian, I found that the calendrical religious celebrations that were a staple of Catholicism no longer appealed to me. In Christ, one day is the same as the next. The formalism and ritualism of these “holidays” were empty substitutes for a personal relationship with Christ that comes only by trusting in Him as Savior by faith alone. My faith in Christ was/is not based on a calendar. There were also a couple of other objections I had to these “holidays.” As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, it (c)hristianized pagan religious celebrations in order to attract and appease new converts. Some of the traditions of these “holidays” are rooted in paganism. Not only that, but in modern times, “holidays” like Christmas and Easter have been increasingly commercialized and secularized and have lost their religious connection in the minds of many/most.

Yet, there are many blood-bought, born-again believers who treasure these calendrical celebrations. Their thinking is different from mine. They see nothing wrong with commemorating the birth and resurrection of Christ. Instead, they see these celebrations as positive affirmations of their faith that they can share with family and friends.

For a few years following my acceptance of Christ as my Savior, I was strongly opposed to celebrating these “holidays,” but I’ve since changed my thinking. While I don’t go out of my way to celebrate these popular “holidays,” I understand many of my brothers and sisters in the Lord see them as a good thing. In Christ, we have the freedom and liberty to view these matters differently. Each individual Christian must follow the Lord’s leading and decide for themselves without condemning others. I personally view these “holidays” as fantastic opportunities to get together with unbelieving family and friends and bring up Jesus and the Gospel. I have done so many times and will again this weekend, Lord willing.

Today is Good Friday, but I’m not thinking about my Lord’s death on the cross for my sins any more than I do any other day. That’s the glorious, indescribable beauty and joy of walking with my Lord, Savior, and Shepherd on a daily, make that hourly, make that heartbeat-to-heartbeat, basis. There’s no need to anticipate religious “holidays” on the calendar when you’re walking hand-in-hand with the Lord every single day. But many of my brothers and sisters in Christ really enjoy these days, so I say, peace, and have at it in the Lord! When you wish me a “Merry Christmas” and a “Happy Easter” with love and goodwill in the Lord, I will reciprocate in kind.

I know there are some believers who feel very strongly about not recognizing these “holidays,” and I get it. But each Christian must determine what is right for them.

“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. See all of Romans 14, a wonderful instruction from the Lord on this issue, here.

IMPORTANT: Most people have heard of Jesus Christ and know that He died on a cross two-thousand years ago, but they don’t understand what that means for them personally. The Bible says we are all sinners and we all deserve eternal punishment, but God loves us so much He sent His Son to this Earth to live a perfect life and die for our sins as our substitute. But He didn’t stay dead. In three days, He rose from the grave, beating sin and death. He now offers the free gift of eternal life to everyone who repents of their sin and trusts in Him as their Savior. Jesus died for you. He was thinking of you when He was hanging on that cross two-thousand years ago. Will you pray to Jesus on this Good Friday and accept Him as your Savior? After you have accepted Jesus, ask Him to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches God’s Word without compromise.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” – John 1:12

Many, many people will attend a church service this Easter Sunday, but only a fraction of them will be trusting in Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone. Going to church doesn’t save. Being a good person doesn’t save (because no one is actually good). Believing intellectually about a man who died on a cross two-thousand years ago doesn’t save. Each and every person must come to Jesus Christ in prayer and accept Him as their Savior by faith alone.

21 thoughts on “Good Friday? Easter?

  1. I agree with you, Tom, but I still fight for Christmas because the world’s rejection is so “in our face” these days. I’m kinda proud of the Christ in Christmas, and I blatantly refuse to bow to their “holiday” garbage. But you are correct… All days are the same when Christ lives in us.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Hope! No two believers are going to think exactly the same about this topic, but that’s OK. My coming out of a liturgical background helped shape my thinking. All we do we should do to the glory of the Lord and He alone is our Judge on this. My wife loves these days for the family component and we always get to witness to our family.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Evangelistic. And I like that. I am probably coming from this the opposite direction. Never really cared for Easter before as a kid in a traditional buddhist household. When I was a Christian I didn’t see how Easter eggs had to do with Jesus. For long time it wasn’t as important. But beginning last year I really took this time to go indepth with the details of the final week of Jesus and the crucifixion and the Resurrection largely for our blog refuting contradiction….but that really led me to further appreciate Christ more this time of the year. Not that I’m trying to follow some kind of holy week thing but it happened that way. I appreciate God instituting a holiday once a week to remember Him!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Jim. Yup, I can respect that you and other believers are fond of these celebrations. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll also be cheering this Sunday at the message of Jesus rising from the tomb! I also realize very much that these days are great evangelizing opportunities.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Most excellent post, Tom. I have struggled some with the question of how, and how much to celebrate Christmas and Easter. I actually have begun to only call Easter…Resurrection Sunday anymore. I personally don’t like all of the pagan elements that have been drug into it. My family loves it. So, we pretty much leave each other to our own devices on the issue. I don’t impose my will in the situation, and they more or less don’t drag me into it more than is totally necessary. It seems to work.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. LOL! I started to write you that I appreciate your posts and your heart for the Lord, but I stopped myself because I want you to stay humble and not get a big ego.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on A Blog About Healing From PTSD and commented:
    I am reblogging this terrific post because I agree wholeheartedly with every word. Unlike the author, however, I am not a former Catholic, I am a former agnostic, almost an atheist. But today I believe with all of my heart in Christ Jesus, who was raised from the dead approximately two thousand years ago. As for Easter — a highly commercialized, quasi-Christian holiday named after a pagan goddess of spring and fertility — my feelings are very much like Tom’s. I also love how Tom uses Romans 14 to explain his graceful response to the many true Christian brothers and sisters among us who celebrate Easter and Christmas.

    Comments are closed here, please visit the original blog. Thank you for stopping by and God bless.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. There are many valid, different reflections of truth and many so-called pre Christian “pagan” traditions were not evil or anti Christ at all but God speaking to man in different languages. This can explain why there is so much overlapping symbolism and patterns in various religious cultures.

    It is true time and even the rotation of seasons reflects Christ’s life and God’s glory. It is also true that all we have in this life is the Now.

    Have a Happy Easter, but may your every moment be filled with the fullness of God’s grace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LSG, the broad way of relative truth that you endorse appeals to the unregenerated, but Jesus Christ proclaimed:
      “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
      “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:13-14

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I come from a side which rejected celebrating these holidays because of their catholic origins. As a child we mostly celebrated them because of tradition, not religion. In my teens, however, my father grew more convinced of the need to celebrate the Lord in all we do, and I agree!

    I agree with Romans—each should be fully convinced in his own mind. We currently celebrate Easter and Christmas by tradition, but also discuss religion with our children. I think my kids ask me every year if Jesus was really born on Christmas and every year the answer is, “we don’t know the exact date and it doesn’t matter because we should celebrate Jesus life, death, and resurrection in our hearts everyday.”

    I know Easter typically falls around Passover, but like I tell my kids, Jesus’ resurrection should be a daily celebration for the Christian because it is through the resurrection we have hope. I don’t want them to get hung up on holidays—just do everything for the Lord every day. 😊

    I don’t take issue with people celebrating Easter or Christmas, and definitely take no issue in using it to praise the Lord and spread the gospel. We should take every opportunity to do so! Sorry for the rambling comment and Thanks for your insights!

    Liked by 4 people

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