These past weeks, we have been preparing for Easter. The events and services have been planned; the church has been decorated; and we have journeyed with Jesus these past 40-days to prepare us spiritually. Are we ready for Easter? It’s here!
Easter is a celebration for the Christian. We celebrate it as a church and as families, but do we celebrate it as an individual?
The earliest recorded celebrations of Easter occurred in the 2nd century A.D. This was within the first one hundred years of Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. By this time, the followers of Jesus had been scattered throughout the Roman world after the destruction of Jerusalem. It wasn’t until the Roman Emperor Constantine was convert to Christianity that the church began to organize and officially celebrate Easter. In 325 A.D., Constantine called the bishops from across church to gather in Nicaea, an ancient city what is now Greece. It was at this convention that the date of Easter was set to be the first full moon after the spring equinox. Thus, the date of Easter fluctuates between March 22 and April 25th under our modern calendar. This also follows the Jewish calendar for Passover. It is believed that Easter has been celebrated on the same date for over 1700 years. Though scholars believed that Jesus’ resurrection happened sometime between the years of 26 A.D and 36 A.D, many hold to the year 33 A.D. The truth will never be known, but the fact that it is still celebrated is remarkable.
If you are like my family, Easter was the day that everyone went to church and gathered for a family dinner afterwards. We also celebrated with new Easter clothing, egg coloring and hunting, and of course, candy! We celebrated Easter both as a holiday and a holy day.
What should Easter be? Well, simply put, a celebration – a time to rejoice in our salvation that Jesus bought with his life. It is time to celebrate as an individual, a family and as His church. It is the single most important day in history and all of eternity. Without Easter, we would have nothing to celebrate.
Easter is much more than a family dinner, but reason for a family to gather and celebrate together. Easter is more than just a special service in the wee hours of the morning. Easter is more than just one day a year, it is a life to live! Let’s live it!