This morning many churches in our area and throughout the world staged an Easter Sunrise Service to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb. This day marks the end of a period known to many as “holy week.” Like Christmas almost four months earlier, many will focus upon Jesus today unlike they ever do on any other day. Therein lies a very sad problem.
The Biblical record fully supports the doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All four of the Gospel writers record the resurrection, Acts prominently deals with it and the various New Testament writers teach it. Revelation raises the idea to an even higher level because we see the risen Lord in his reigning glory. Paul challenges, almost dares, skeptics to seek out eyewitnesses to the event when he pens that Jesus appeared to over 500 people at once after his resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). The resurrection is fact. It is amazing, even stunning, but it is fact nonetheless. Jesus came back to life at a point in time and at a physical place. The certainty of the resurrection is as sure as the discovery of America, the discovery of penicillin and even the certainty of your own birthday.
While the truth of the resurrection is undeniable, it is what the resurrection proves that is so important. The resurrection is arguably the most verifiable miracle done in history. As such, it proves that Jesus was who he said he was, proves that what he said throughout his ministry was true and proves that his victory over death is also ours. Christians should rejoice and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ daily, not just once a year.
The Biblical record is also clear that the early church knew nothing of a special “Easter” service. Christians lived their faith daily (Acts 2:46). In their teachings and preachings the resurrection was always foremost in their teachings. It was THE miracle that defined their Lord and his power over the grave. However, we never read of an Easter service. The one occasion where the word “Easter” is found in the Bible is the result of a horrendous mistranslation. Acts 12:4 says Herod intended to bring Peter out to the people after the PASCHA – that should be, and is in newer translations, rendered Passover. It does not mean Easter and never has.
The problem with creating special holidays not given in Scripture is that we go beyond what God has authorized. In this case, giving a sense of holiness and righteousness to people who will not darken the door again until December.
The call of Christ is a call to take up one’s cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23). Our Lord died for our sins and insured that Heaven can be ours. His promise of life eternal is not limited to one day a year and neither should our worship and praise of him be for one day.
Let us choose now to honor our Lord daily by lives that give honor and glory to his Kingship. Let us mirror the image of Christ throughout every day of every week and thereby point others to the Savior. Please ask yourself, where will you be next Sunday? Where will you be tomorrow? Will you give glory to God and to his Son?