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Distinguishing between Easter and Christmas.

Today, many Christians place more emphasis on the celebration of Christmas than they do when they celebrate Easter. Growing up as a child, Christmas was described as the bigger festivity and was more likely to be celebrated than Easter. We saw Christmas as a time when gifts are bought for all and sundry. We celebrated the day Jesus was born; many Christian schools and churches sang the Christmas carol songs and many other events were organized to celebrate this momentous and august occasion. This has been the norm for years and remains so.

I am not saying it is evil to celebrate Christmas!

Easter on the other hand, was celebrated on a “low-key” when compared to how Christmas is celebrated: there are no exchange of gifts between family members and it’s just another day spent at home because its marked as a holiday; no requisite plans made unlike that of Christmas hence implying that we don’t attach much importance to it, as we should. The celebration of Easter according to the scriptures started when Jesus was killed (Good Friday) and culminated on the third day when God raised Him from the dead (Easter Sunday).

If there is any celebration that we must have as Christians, it is the Easter. There is nowhere in the Bible that tells us we must celebrate Christmas but emphasis is made in the celebration of Easter because it reminds us of the reason why anyone can be called a Christian. We can’t be Christians just by the birth of Jesus; rather our Christianity is centered on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. If there was no resurrection, no one and I mean nobody today can be referred to as a Christian. So Easter, should be our greatest celebration ever. The birth of Jesus should only remind us that the resurrected one was at one time given birth to and that’s it.

There is a twist in that, rather than place a lot of emphasis on the death of Christ and celebrate that He was killed and was raised from the dead, the world has twisted the celebration, turned us against the will of God into placing more seriousness and emphasis on the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. What we are doing indirectly, is that we refuse to see the reason why Jesus came in the form of a human being; why He was brutally punished; why He suffered and was eventually slaughtered and rose up from the dead on the third day. There is a reason why all of these things happened.

Jesus told us to remember Him, not as one who was born at one time, but as one who died and on the third day was raised from the dead by His Father. This is what it means when we are told to preach the Gospel: it is the news (good news) about the fact that He was raised from the dead because in death He destroyed the one who had the power of death (Devil). One of His proclamations when He raised Lazarus from the dead was that He saw Himself as the resurrection and the life.

During Easter, we should be reminded that:

Jesus did not come to planet Earth as an angel, but came in the form of man; as man and for man. The Bible stresses that since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by His death. By embracing death, taking it into Himself, He destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death. It’s obvious that He didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, the children of Abraham. For this reason, He had to enter into every detail of human life so that when He came before God as the high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, He would have already experienced it all Himself (all the pain, all the testing) and would be able to help where help was needed.

We were formerly held bound by a slave master who determined that for us to be set free, a ransom had to be paid. Jesus had no Sin, He could not Sin yet He took on our Sin so that we can be presented righteous. In other words, God put the wrong on Him who never did anything wrong so we could be put right with God. It is more like an exchange, God swapped His position with humanity; we were pushed out from the Garden of Eden because of what Adam and Eve did. Therefore, in Adam, we died and in Jesus we become alive by His resurrection from the dead.

We are called the children of God; we have been baptized into the Church by reason of His resurrection from the dead. We can call on God at any time not because we are who we are but because of the Grace of God made available to us through the resurrection from the dead. Not only are we referred to as the called ones, we are also called the elect, the chosen one, and most of all we are Saints.

For those who have received Jesus as their Lord, we form part and are members of the mystical body called the Church; sustained and kept intact by the power exerted when Jesus was raised from the dead. We become the temple of God being enveloped by His Spirit that resides on the inside of us. We are the family of God and Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters. Jesus, the builder of the Church is more honorable than the building.

Jesus came down to Earth to pay our bride price as His Bride (The Church). It is called a down payment pending the arrival of the Bridegroom (Jesus). This means that Jesus is definitely coming back for us. This would cause us to hope for His coming back irrespective of what we are presented with in this dark and evil world. He is coming back for the Church. We shall all be resurrected too when He comes back (in case we die before He comes).

God chose the Israelites at first as His people and because God knew they were going to refuse and rebel against Him, He had predetermined that Jesus should come to die and be raised from the dead for the people who God knew would accept Him as their Lord and Savior. The racial barrier was broken; the Gentile and Jewish demarcation was broken down and can therefore cohabit as brothers and sisters. Except the Jews fall in line with this new method of salvation, they are not allowed to enter into God’s rest.

Easter should remind us that we used to be a people who never had it in us to seek or look for God. We were considered outsiders, like the Apostle puts it when he said, “when you see God reach out to those you consider your inferiors – outsiders, you’ll become insanely jealous. When you see God reach out to people you think are religiously stupid, you’ll throw temper tantrums.”

Isaiah also said by the inspiration of God, “People found and welcomed me who never so much as looked for me. And I found and welcomed people who had never even asked about me. Then he capped it with a damning indictment: Day after day after day, I beckoned Israel with open arms, and got nothing for my trouble but cold shoulders and icy stares.”

Easter is indeed a time to reflect on what God did for us.

We believe that, in the resurrection, there shall be a perfect identity of the body. You may say it is not philosophical if you please, but you cannot show me that it is unbiblical. Science cannot demonstrate it, you say; but then science cannot disprove it – C H Spurgeon.

Have a Happy Easter Celebration.

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