Sunday has been designated as Easter. For some, Easter is enjoyed as a day of relaxation, or a time for sharing a delicious meal of baked ham with family and friends. For others, it is a day of fun and games as brightly colored eggs will be hidden, then hunted and found by gleeful children.
As I searched the Internet to see what was said about Easter, I discovered that 51,500,000 websites were devoted to the subject, many dealing strictly with the commercial aspect of the holiday. My search led me to learn that 118,000,000 cards will be sent, making it the fourth largest card-sending event during the year. I also learned that besides chocolate bunnies, some 300,000,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs and 700,000,000 Marshmallow Peeps will be sold. This makes for one sweet day!
However, for Christians, the day we call Easter is not about commercialism, but it marks the single most significant event in human history - the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Though I know that all people do not share the Christian faith, nonetheless, millions of people around the world will be observing this day by gathering in the church of their choice to celebrate and worship our Lord.
Each year one of the major magazines in the country runs an article concerning the validity of Christ's resurrection. The question is always broached as to whether or not Jesus Christ was actually raised from the dead. The consensus is that Jesus' resurrection can only be one of two things - either it is the greatest single fact of human history, or it is the greatest hoax ever to be foisted upon the minds of men. I, personally, choose to believe the former.
Paul declared unto the Christians in the church at Corinth, "And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then all those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable!" (1 Corinthians 15:17-19).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the one thing that gives the believer hope. As Christians, we have the hope of eternal life: Believing that one day, when we close our own eyes in death, we will open them to behold that city in which the Lord has promised us a place throughout eternity.
I cannot speak for all men, but my choice is not to make Easter about chocolate bunnies and candy eggs but to make it about Jesus. Even if you do not share my belief and view, humor me! Respect my beliefs as I respect your own, and understand that my childlike faith is the only thing that keeps me "keeping on" as I make my way through this world!
Jerry L. Dunn, pastor of Oak Street Baptist Church, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.