Tough Questions Answered

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Why Do We Celebrate Easter?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

resurrection 232x300 Why Do We Celebrate Easter?We celebrate Easter because it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Christians believe that Jesus was killed by crucifixion on a Friday and then actually came back to life on the following Sunday.

Some may ask, “So what?”  Why is it important that Jesus rose from the dead?

There are many answers to that question, including the fact that Jesus predicted this miracle ahead of time as proof that he is the Son of God.  But today I want to highlight a passage from 1 Cor. 15 where the apostle Paul explains why the resurrection is important to believers in a very practical way.

But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Cor. 15:12-19).

Christ’s resurrection is the central teaching of Christianity.  According to Paul, if he wasn’t resurrected, then Christianity is a complete sham; all who believe in Christ for salvation are still in their sins and to be pitied if Christ was not raised.

For those of us who are believers, the resurrection is extremely important.  If Christ was not raised, we have no hope.

But Paul does not leave us hanging.  In verse 20, he makes clear what really occurred: “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20).

Paul concludes his treatment of the resurrection with these words: “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54).

The resurrection of Christ is the ultimate reassurance to all believers that death has finally been defeated.  We will all be resurrected, just as Christ.  Once you understand that Easter is a celebration of the defeat of death, you will finally understand why we celebrate this holy day.

Thanks be to God for a risen Savior!


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Comments

  • http://www.musingsonmormonism.blogspot.com gloria

    The resurrection & death of our Lord is probably the single greatest time of year for beleivers…. yes, we know his birth is important too, but without Calvary, without Jesus taking upon Himself our sins, where would be? He truly did overcome sin & death. Thus the greatness of this time of year as we remember what our Lord did – He truly went as a spotless lamb.

    As a fairly new believer, I can not even begin to express how JOYOUS easter is now. It has taken on a much greater significance now that I have surrendered my life to the Lord.

    He is everything to me, and as a result this time of year has really taken on a preciousness that was lacking when I was LDS.

    My Church had an amazing service – it was truly a celebration! Hands clapping, raised to heaven, singing hosanna! Never have I experierenced such JOY in the LDS services. It was amazing! Even my LDS friends that I invited couldn’t beleive how joyous an occassion it was — truly it something to celebrate — our Lord, our master our Jesus has claimed VICTORY for us!

    Praise His holy name!

    gloria

  • http://latterdayspence.blogspot.com Clean Cut

    Amen!

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Gloria,

    I had the exact same experience myself yesterday!! The celebration in church yesterday was completley unlike anything I ever experienced while LDS and I loved it. I paused amid the singing to look around and was almost brought to tears seeing the smiles of joy on people’s faces.

    Thanks for sharing!

    God Bless!!

  • http://www.musingsonmormonism.blogspot.com gloria

    Hello, Darrell. God is so good! So glad to hear you & your family enjoyed a joyous experience celbrating and worshipping with the Body of Christ!

    It is so very radically different of an experience than when one is LDS!

    Praising God He has opened our eyes and we can now see!!!

    gloria

  • kay

    This answered several questions for me. Thanks.
    Switching to another topic — what does the Bible say about the mess our country is in? Are we to do nothing, in anticipation of end times? Or, should we express our concerns (about government spending, etc)?

    Thanks.

  • Bill Pratt

    Kay,
    Thanks for the encouragement. I’m not especially into politics these days, just due to time and priorities, but I would recommend you visit Wintery Knight’s blog. He spends a lot of time on politics and is a strong Christian. I think his take on political matters seems reasonable more times than not.

    God bless,
    BP

  • Berit

    Amen! I have shouted for joy, sung praises with all my heart and soul at the glorious news of the resurrection the songs of everlasting hope. I love to be amongst the believers, whatever denomination they may be. I have felt great expression given to my heart’s joy of joys as I have attended many other denominations and love seeing others come together to celebrate the resurrection and worship the Savior of ALL the world!
    My belated husband has a picture of him shortly before his passing standing in front of a picture of the resurrected Savior. The picture looks as though His resurrected hand, showing His wounds, is rested upon my husband’s shoulder. We used this picture on my husband’s funeral program. So many people shed tears of joy with me, what a glorious symbol of hope for us all! The Savior has stilled my strife with His peace. He has spread His healing balm upon my heart rent wide at my husband’s passing, helped turned my tears from grief and loneliness to tears of rejoicing! I am overcome with the boundless love the Savior has for all of us to give up His life as the only one capable of taking it up again, overcoming the sting of death! I praise His name forever and ever!!!! I love Him! He has truly made music of my tears, music of joy and thanksgiving, and not a dreary dirge that would hover without the divine hope in Christ. I love to be amongst those who believe on Him, as we unite in letting our praises ring for life’s most wondrous blessing! Glory to God on high forever and ever! Amen! Amen! Amen! Love to ALL good Christians and love to those misguided souls, even they shall receive of the fruits of this glorious gift! God bless you. Spread peace and love, and speak kind words to all as He would have us do. If we profess to love the Savior, we must love even those who hate us. I’m learning to apply the beattitudes to all aspects of my life and that is sometimes the hardest thing to do, but I’m filled with an exquisite joy as He helps me do this. I feel as though I am an extension of Him, and have fully taken His name upon me!

  • Todd Pratt

    Bill,
    As the article says, without believing that a dead person can come back to life, the Cristian faith is useless. However, we know beyond any doubt that this is a physical impossibility. If it’s impossible, how does apologetics “interpret” the resurrection to maintain that faith is not useless?

  • hollie carter

    amen everyone
    its easter today and i am having lots of yummy chocolate mmmmmmmmm!

  • http://www.rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    This is a day, not to assert, nor defend, but to celebrate the bodily resurrection of our Lord, and all that He won for us thereby.

    A Blessed Easter to all!

  • http://Www.toughquestionsanswered.org Darrell

    Easter came about as a Feast in the Church. It was one of several: Annuciation, Pentecost, Ascension, Nativity, etc. Yet we in the Protestant world have only retained two: Easter and Nativity. I have often wondered why. Does anybody one here have any ideas?

  • http://Www.toughquestionsanswered.org Darrell

    Obviously I meant “on” here. I hate iPhone typing!

    Darrell

  • http://www.rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    Darrell, as an Anglican, I consider myself thoroughly Protestant (ask the Irish!), dating from the early days of the Reformation. And yet we observe the liturgical calendar, with Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Christmas with their principal feasts, as well as remembrances that get a feast day, but not a whole season of the year. Individual local Churches vary in how much attention is given to these days.

    My guess is that the observance of the calendar is a good thing that was thrown out with medieval Roman bathwater. In Roman practice, it has often been so tied to “Days of Obligation” that it seems part of the Popish” gospel of works, which was the central enemy against which “grace alone” was rightly proclaimed. Unfortunately, in so doing, the Church cut the people off from a source of teaching that I think still afflicts what we thing of the Evangelical wing of the Church. The episodes of our Lord’s life (say, the temptation in the wilderness, or the Transfiguration) tend to get very short shrift. Doctrines such as our fallen nature, and the burden of sin, get notice sometimes only in the first half of a sermon, and must be resolved by the end. An observance of lent invites us to wrestle with, ponder, and meditate on these issues for 40 days, resolved by the triumph of Easter. These teaching opportunities are augment by arts and colors, choice of music, aesthetics in general. Worshipping and teaching through the life of Jesus on a one year cycle treats these issues as great themes. To be somewhat crass about it, it treats the problem of sin and our Lord’s intervention as a multi-part movie (think Star Wars franchise) where much Evangelical practice treats them as the 30 minute TV show, where whatever was brought up in the first 10 minutes had to be neatly wrapped up by the end.

    I think it a sad loss.

  • http://www.rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    And you type better on a phone than I do on a full keyboard, with spellcheck!

  • http://Www.toughquestionsanswered.org Darrell

    Eric,

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, I did state my question wrong in that I left out the Liturgical Protestant Churches. I should have said “much of Prostestantism” has retained observance of only two of the Feasts.

    I have been researching the Eastern Orthodox Church, and I have attended some of their services. A lot of what you said resonates with me. The Lenten and Holy Week services they had were so deep and moving that it is difficult to describe. The focus on Repentence for an entire 40 days touched me in a very deep way.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    He is risen!

    Darrel

  • http://www.rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

  • Bill Pratt

    Todd said, referring to a person coming back from the dead, “However, we know beyond any doubt that this is a physical impossibility.”

    We do?

  • http://Www.toughquestionsanswered.org Darrell

    How many things have we considered impossible in the past that we now know today are completely possible? The arrogance of modern “scientific” man is utterly amazing!

  • http://www.rericsawyer.wordpress.com R. Eric Sawyer

    The fact that we “know” people don’t come back from the dead is not new. They knew it as well, which is why they called it a miracle.

  • baseball jerseys

    I have been researching the Eastern Orthodox Church, and I have attended some of their services. A lot of what you said resonates with me.

  • http://alabamatheist.blogspot.com/ Tim D.

    Todd said, referring to a person coming back from the dead, “However, we know beyond any doubt that this is a physical impossibility.”

    We do?

    Do you know how to resurrect people from the dead using only physical scientific methods? No? Well then there you go.

    If you have a problem with that logic, you may want to re-think the fact that you use it every time you claim a miracle has happened — “do you have an explanation for the absence of Jesus’ body from the tomb? Well, then that means God did it.”

  • RosalindAngel

    Hi guys,
    I am going to be the first person to say this
    I personally have nothing against religion but I believe that this ‘resurrection’ stuff is a load of crap
    sorry if i offended you

  • Yazzo

    you did that’s mean to a lot of people

  • bubble gum

    then y did u read it

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Herman/100001103181381 Jonathan Herman

    Why wouldn’t you read it? Just because he/she and I do not agree with it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t read it. You know, the whole open your mind. Read the opposing views. Get the whole picture before you make up your mind…. Should try it sometime.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Herman/100001103181381 Jonathan Herman

    How many things in the past did we considered possible yet now are scientifically proven to be impossible? The arrogance of a static religion that believes it’s had all the answers for 2,000 years and counting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Herman/100001103181381 Jonathan Herman

    No we actually don’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt. BUT, it’s highly, highly unlikely that one rose from the dead as NO ONE “reliable” has witnessed this since (Though that’s worded wrong as no one reliable witnessed the Resurrection of Jesus either). The body isn’t there! He must have awoke from the dead and walked away! Why is it that we use logic and science to dictate everything else we believe in the world around us yet when it comes to something like your prophet rising from the dead you believe it simply because the book says so. If the book said that a talking snake tempted Eve…. you would….. you would believe that? Nevermind. Ha It’s all faith that the word of a few of Jesus’s disciples 2,000 years ago interpreted god correctly. And let’s not even get started on the translations, and translations of translations. The things omitted and added by King James (just as an example, this has been done a few times.) The total rip off of the Hebrew bible and other pagan and Hellenistic religions. Heck, the bible was even originally written in Greek.

  • emma

    cool! resurrection!

  • larryking

    this is a good on e kip the write up skill up bill pratt

  • http://twitter.com/MiraneV mirane Mum

    It does not matter the comments, the fact remains that death is defeated and Jesus is risen.

  • terrybear2k

    easter, are u celebrating it in association with extra/non-biblical beings? (bunnies, eggs,chocolates)? if u do, re-think of what u are doing
    http://www.cause-of-god.com/easter.html

  • jackie

    No where in God’s word does it say that christians celebrated or were instructed to celebrate the discovery of our Saviof’s empty tomb on Sun day morning.
    Jesus said He would be in the heart of the earth 3 days AND 3 nights. Friday to Sun day morning is only 2 nights.
    Jesus, His disciples and Paul observed God’s Passover not Easter. Easter originated with Roman Sun worship.
    God Bless,

  • Nina Simone

    The reason why Christians Ignorantly celebrate Easter is because they are indoctrinated with pagan traditions and therefore die from lack of knowledge. Easter is the feast of Ishtar a fertility rite in the pagan mystery religions. It is pretty much an orgy re-branded. Which is why you have the bunny and the eggs as symbols. It has nothing at all to do with the Resurrection of JESUS CHRIST. The Romans instead of destroying the Idols and pagan traditions, as GOD commands us to do, when they “adopted” Christianity (only because it was gaining popularity) instead renamed and re-branded them in order to appease everyone and maintain control.

    Same goes for Christmas. The Christmas Tree is an Abomination to GOD which is written of in Jeremiah 10;

    “Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” Jeremiah 10:2-5

    Christmas is the pagan feast of Saturnalia re-branded once again. This pagan feast was to commemorate and celebrate them sacrificing their children to their false gods. They would once a year put up an Evergreen tree in the town square and the parents who murdered their children to appease their idols would go to the town square and place a trinket on the branches of this abomination to memorialize the dead children. When you practice this pagan tradition you are ignorantly doing the same.

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