Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Easter Gives Meaning to Christmas

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Many great events are celebrated on the liturgical calendar. I think it safe to say that the two great religious holidays are Christmas and Easter. For the most part, Christmas is celebrated in a much bigger fashion than Easter, right? Christmas is “that time of year” when families gather, carols are sung, trees are decorated, and gifts exchanged. It comes each December 25th, and is the climax of the year. 

Easter? Well, you go to church on Sunday and pick up some hard-boiled eggs, That’s about it. It almost seems to be viewed as a second-rate holiday. 

I think that is a big mistake. From a theological perspective, if Christ is still in a grave, Christmas has no meaning. If the tomb is not empty, the manger makes no difference. If Jesus is dead, He was merely another Rabbi with delusions of grandeur. If the resurrection is a hoax, then Christmas is merely a story of a birth in a hole-in-the-wall town in an obscure country two thousand years ago. Easter gives meaning to Christmas.

Christianity doesn’t hinge on the Virgin Birth, but it rises or falls on the resurrection. That’s why you see it repeated again and again in the New Testament. When the early Christ followers preached, they rarely mentioned Bethlehem. Their messages were filled with the empty tomb. It’s like they never got over that Sunday when they went to the tomb and Jesus wasn’t there — gone: “He is not here for He has risen just as He said” [Matthew 28.6].

And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4.33

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