Is Easter a holiday or a holy day?
Donald Threadgold, a retired missionary in Brazil who also helped start a church community amongst Portuguese-speakers in Norfolk, explores the Easter story.
Easter is a very important celebration and festival which is full of meaning. In fact, our life and our eternal future depends on our understanding and acceptance of what took place during those days in the past. For we must face up to why Jesus came, and what He did.
In this Easter festival we could meet God face to face, because he has given us the gift of His Son as our Saviour and the gift of Salvation.
So let us follow the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ as He travels along the path we call the way of the Cross. He is God's only begotten Son, who is the only one who is sinless, and challenges the whole of mankind to find any sin in Him. If we look more closely into His life, we find it to be one of miraculous acts, including raising people from the dead. He is unique and sets out to do the will of his Father - which is to die for us to pardon and to cleanse us from all of our sins. He is God's sacrifice for sin and this satisfies all the demands of a Holy God. By this act we can now be redeemed and saved.
In His death we see that He was as dead as those in our graveyards. A stone was laid against the tomb; and sealed, without there being any expectation of it ever being opened. It was also guarded by soldiers, but it was moved by an earthquake and angels, and the soldiers gave witness to Him being alive!
The Easter story reveals six miracles: 1. Darkness fell over the land during the daytime while Jesus hung on the cross. 2. The veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom as He died. 3. When He arose from the dead the grave-clothes were unmoved and yet His head covering was folded and placed on a ledge. 4. The graves of the saints in Jerusalem were opened and they came out alive and appeared to many in the city. 5. The stone was moved miraculously, and the tomb lay open for all to see that He was not there but had risen from the dead. 6. He was able to appear to many and pass through doors and walls and even ate with the disciples. He then appeared for 40 days and the scripture reveals 13 separate appearances. All of this is a powerful witness of God Himself to each of us. These are facts which require action on our part and an acceptance that this is not just a holiday but a special time to receive Jesus into our lives. May we rejoice in our shared faith.
Happy Easter.If you want to find out more about the Easter story and Christianity, visit: www.rejesus.co.uk