A recent opinion poll indicated the most popular Easter candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. These delicious morsels of chocolate and peanut butter surpassed other classic favorites, including Cadbury Mini Eggs and the ever-popular marshmallow Peeps.
Yes, there are many cultural treats and traditions surrounding Easter that excite us. From Easter Egg hunts, to taking pictures at the mall with the Easter Bunny, to picking out new clothes to wear, there are no shortage of activities for the public at Eastertime.
Like Christmas, it can be easy to get caught up in the festivities surrounding the holiday. So caught up, we forget why it is a holy day in the first place. Meanwhile, I want to suggest the Christian calendar, if rooted in the Scriptures, can help put Baptists and other Christians in the right mindset and “heart-set” going into this special holiday.
In the week leading up to Easter (or Resurrection Sunday as it is sometimes called), we think of Palm Sunday. On this day, we think of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, with crowds placing palm branches in His path, shouting praises to God (Matt. 21).
Days later, on Maundy Thursday, we think of the night on which Christ was betrayed. We remember how He washed His disciples’ feet, how He shared the Last Supper, instituted the Lord’s Supper, and was arrested (John 13).
On Good Friday, we remember how the sinless Son of God laid down His life on the cross, being tortured and crucified. We remember how He was despised and rejected by men, how He was bruised for our iniquities and gave up His life (Mark 15). Some faith traditions recognize Holy Saturday, the day prior to the glorious Easter Sunday.
As our minds and hearts turn toward Easter Sunday, we think how in one glorious morning, the world turned from darkness to light, from despair to hope. We remember the first witnesses to the Resurrected Christ were women (Mark 16). We remember the empty tomb, that Jesus was alive forevermore!
Calling to mind the glorious truths highlighted in these holy days positions us at Easter to better worship the Lord Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to point lost people to salvation found in Him alone.
While it’s fun to hunt for eggs, eat sweets and put on nice clothes, Easter is ultimately all about new life—Resurrection Life—offered by the Lord Jesus. That’s the kind of Good News our neighbors and people in the world really need.
So this Easter week, go out and tell someone about Jesus. Tell them He is risen. He is risen indeed!