As Christians, we often examine the various holidays and consider whether or not to participate in them. The origins of many holidays are questionable and so we investigate whether or not we believe we or our children should participate in the traditions associate with them. We are going to look at 4 Biblical Reasons Why We Celebrate Easter.
For most, Easter is definitely an event that is recognized by observing Lent, attending special services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and/or Easter Sunday. Often, our questions about the holidays come down to the traditions like rabbits, eggs, egg hunts, and other things that seem to have very little to do with Easter and we question our own participation in those things.
WHY IS EASTER IMPORTANT?
First, let’s look at the reasons why we celebrate Easter and why they’re important. I believe that the most important reason we celebrate and observe Easter is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ which brought forgiveness of sins to all who believe and tore away the veil of separation between God and man.
That’s really all the reason we need because it changed everything! The calendar and the way we designate time is based on the birth of Jesus and the fulfillment of His birth is in the resurrection. This is one of the reasons why we celebrate Easter – it was part of a world-changing event!
The importance of the two events is impossible to overstate and the tradition of recognizing life-changing events goes back to the Old Testament. The Jews piled up rocks, created celebrations like Passover, and built temples to commemorate what God had done for them.
Even while people are hunting Easter Eggs and eating chocolate bunnies, most know what Easter signifies a time like Christmas and these may be the only two times each year that people attend church services. Hunting Easter Eggs does not have to diminish the reasons to celebrate Easter.
At Easter, a clear message is sent out all around the world telling of the love, sacrifice, and glory of Jesus.
The History of Easter
You probably know the Easter story but how did the name “Easter” become associated with this work of Jesus? There was no celebration called Easter in the Bible. There are some who believe that “Easter” had pagan origins involving the worship of a goddess named Eostre which means Spring. However, this explanation does not stand up to historical evidence.
Here is a quote from answersingenesis.org.:
Because the English Anglo/Saxon language originally derived from the Germanic, there are many similarities between German and English. Many English writers have referred to the German language as the “Mother Tongue!” The English word Easter is of German/Saxon origin and not Babylonian as Alexander Hislop falsely claimed. The German equivalent is Oster. Oster (Ostern being the modern day equivalent) is related to Ost which means the rising of the sun, or simply in English, east.
If you want to learn more, read the entire article referenced above. The rising of the sun is applied to the rising of the Son of God on Easter Sunday. When Christians observe this holiday they are not participating in idol worship or any sort of pagan tradition. Their reasons to celebrate Easter are securely fastened in Jesus.
Most of our children know nothing of any of those possible pagan origins. What they know is what we teach them about Easter and the traditions surrounding it. If we are celebrating the work of Christ in our lives, putting Him first, and having some fun, our children will do the same.
Reasons Why We Celebrate Easter
Easter is a time for the entire world to be shown the glorious news of Jesus, His resurrection, and the miracle of new life for every person who believes in Him.
We celebrate Easter to recognize one of the most important events in human history. Not only was the veil of separation torn down, allowing us back into God’s presence, but it paved the way for the body of Christ to be revealed on earth through the church.
Easter is a celebration of many things including the fulfillment of God’s promise in the Old Testament beginning in Genesis 3:15. Easter is the recognition of the agape love of God who gave His only begotten Son that we might be saved as we believe in Him and His work.
These are all wonderful reasons to celebrate Easter.
Why Do we Celebrate Good Friday?
It is often asked, “What was good about Good Friday?” After all, it was a day of torment, torture, pain and death for Jesus. Yet, because of His resurrection, we understand that His death was necessary. There could be no redemption of mankind unless sinless blood was shed, a feat only Jesus could accomplish. Jesus took the suffering and punishment we deserved and shed His blood to cover it.
We gather together on Good Friday to remember the suffering of Christ. Why? Because, He willingly and with “the joy set before Him,” endured suffering for our sakes. At other times of the year often join together to remember all sorts of suffering as we remember soldiers who died for our freedom, martyrs who died for our faith, and great leaders who died for our nation.
It has been a tradition since the time of Genesis to remember the sacrifices of others. Easter and Good Friday are our way to remember God’s and Jesus’ sacrifices on our behalf. Good Friday is when we remember and give thanks for Jesus suffering. Good Friday is one of the reasons to celebrate Easter and all its traditions.
What is Maundy Thursday?
Some believers also celebrate Maundy Thursday. The word “maundy’ comes from the Latin word mandatum which means command. Maundy Thursday is believed to be the day that Jesus celebrated His last Passover with the disciples. He also washed their feet and gave us the new commandment. Thus the term Maundy Thursday.
“I am giving you a new command: that you keep on loving each other. In the same way that I have loved you, you are also to keep on loving each other.” John 13:34 CJB,
Again, this is a recognition of the deep love of Jesus for all is also a time to consider our own obedience to His new commandment. When Jesus took communion with the disciples He said this:
“Also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah (blessing), broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” Luke 22:19 CJB.
The new church then continued to take communion together to remember Jesus and what He had done and this time of consideration is a great reason to celebrate Easter
Why Do WE Celebrate Easter Sunday?
Again, the concept of remembrance applies here. We humans forget things, even some of the most important things. We forget a kind gesture from a friend, we forget important life-lessons, we forget who we are and who we are supposed to be in Christ. We forget to remember!
That might sound strange, but it’s true. Creating dates and/or events to ‘remember’ is important and necessary. It’s easy for us to forget the good as we focus on the bad. I don’t know why we humans are that way but we are. The bad often outweighs the good in our memories.
This is why pictures, trinkets, special objects or places, and other things like this are necessary because they help us remember a wonderful time in our life, the people associated with it, the blessings we have, and we pause to be thankful and grateful.
What could be better or more important than setting aside a time and a date to remember the resurrection of our Savior? We need it. We need to take it seriously and realize it isn’t just a fun time to get together, hunt eggs, eat candy, and eat together. There is a far, far deeper reason.
What Do Bunnies and Eggs have to do with Easter?
As a child growing up, I never questioned the association between Jesus, Easter, eggs, and bunnies. It wasn’t until I accepted Christ that I wondered what these things had to do with each other. I will let History.com give you their historical perspective on how these traditions became intwined with Easter.
“The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.
According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.”
It is thought that the eggs have pagan origins but their association with a bunny signifies procreation and new life. We are not worshipping bunnies or sacrificing eggs to idols. They are just enjoyable traditions.
Today, churches sponsor Easter Events including plastic eggs filled with candy, eating together, dropping eggs from helicopters, and hearing the story of Easter. People are brought together to acknowledge the resurrection of Christ and this one of the great reasons to celebrate Easter.
4 Great Reasons to Celebrate Easter
No matter how you celebrate Easter, I hope you do. There are no rules about how you must do it but I believe that it is an important time for each of us to be humbled and filled with hope by the story of Easter.
Reason #1 – To Remember
Our time of remembrance is also a time of reminding the world of what Jesus did – helping them to remember. It is a time for us to humble ourselves as we remember His cleansing work of forgiveness in our lives. “Also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah (blessing), broke it, gave it to them and said, “This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.“
Reason #2 – to Stir Up Our Own Faith
At times like Easter and Christmas, our hearts are often stirred to look within and consider our level of faith. We see why we believe and what we believe again and that reminder helps us remember what the Word says and what God’s desires are for us.
We remember why we strive to be the person He created us to be. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 ESV
Reason #3 – To Shine The Light Of Jesus
Easter is a time of hope. When it looked as if all hope was lost, Jesus returned in the flesh. He rose from the dead. We are to be His lights in the world and what could give more hope than to know that Jesus overcame the power of death and hell and brought us back into relationship with the Father!
“You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 CJB
Reason #4 – To Give Worship to Jesus
This is definitely a time to worship Jesus extravagantly. Easter Sunday is why Jesus took on flesh and dwelt among us. Easter Sunday is when He showed all of creation the absolute victory of God over all powers and authorities. Easter should stir us up to worship, praise, and expressions of love and gratitude.
“Praised be Adonai, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven. In the Messiah he chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in his presence. He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be his sons — in keeping with his pleasure and purpose — so that we would bring him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace he gave us through the Beloved One.” Ephesians 1:3-6 CJB
Celebrating the Resurrection
While there are many more reasons to celebrate Easter, these four are foundational. I hope that your Easter celebration includes all four and that your traditions help you shine His light in the world.
Praying the Promises of the Cross is a wonderful resource related to Easter.
Inspiration For Life Today uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations.