What is the most important Christian holiday? Based on the amount of time and money spent on it, you would think Christmas. But according the Bible, it’s Easter.
While the Christmas story is mentioned briefly in two Gospels, the resurrection is referenced dozens of times, in all four Gospels and in most the epistles. Paul makes it the central theme of his writings. He insists that if Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then our faith is worthless (1 Cor. 15:17).
Even Good Friday, which celebrates the death of Jesus on the cross, is meaningless without the resurrection.
Why should the resurrection mean so much to Christians? Here are five reasons.
It validates everything Jesus said and did. The son of God came to earth to show us how to live a completely new life. But if he had simply taught the things he did then died, he would have been no better than any other religious leader. It was only by his rising from the dead – conquering death – that everything he said and did took on significance.
It gives us new life. When we commit to following Jesus, he doesn’t just make our lives better. We die to the old life we had and through his resurrection we begin living a brand new life through his power.
It sealed God’s plan to send the Holy Spirit to all humanity. Prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit came to only a few people who God selected. But the plan all along had been to send him to all people. The resurrection made it possible to fulfill that plan.
It gives us eternal life. Jesus’ death on the cross meant the punishment for our sins had been fulfilled. His resurrection meant that he had conquered death, and through him, believers have also been granted freedom from eternal death. While our mortal bodies will die, our souls will live on in eternity in God’s presence.
It gives us a source of joy. The resurrection is a historical fact; nothing can take that away. When we find our joy in that fact, we will always be able to experience joy, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.