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  • Gary Hatrick

Forget Your Easter Bonnet

What is Easter? What would you say if someone asked you that question?

Before you go on reading, pause a moment and think of your answer

You probably said something like, it is when Jesus rose from the dead.

You are, of course, correct, but if you are like many who have been raised in at least a nominally Christian home, you probably threw that off as casually as if you were saying New Year's Day is the first day of the new year.

We're pretty used to it aren't we? I can hear a conversation going along these lines: "What is Easter?" "Oh, it's when Jesus rose from the dead. You know I think I'll have ranch dressing with my salad instead of bleu cheese this time."

Christians, do we realize what we are saying? Have we become so familiar with the meaning of Easter that we can think of and talk about it without marveling at what it means?

After all people come back from the dead all the time, don't they?

I realize there are some will say smugly, yes people die on the operating table often and come back to life.

OK, Let's say I give you that one. How many people come back to life after being dead for three days and left wrapped up in a tomb. Add to that the person in question was beaten beyond recognition before being nailed to a cross and then hung up vertically until he passed. I got you on that one.

I kind of hate even to be so flippant as I have been because the resurrection of Jesus was the most significant event to ever happened on the face of the earth.

Easter is not about new suits and white dresses and lilies and ham dinner. It is certainly not about imaginary rabbits, colored eggs, jelly beans, Cadbury Cream Eggs, and chocolate bunnies (or crosses!) in baskets full of colored straw and Easter eggs hunts no matter how they are delivered.

Easter is about the one and only God-man who suffered and died to pay the penalty for every single sin ever committed, rising from the dead. Jesus took on sin and death and won that battle emerging from the tomb victorious.

Easter is about the event that is the focal point of history, the event that declares you don't have to die and go to hell if you believe that Jesus Christ paid for your sins on the cross and rose to a new life. It is the only event of its kind, and Jesus is the only way you can be assured of forgiveness and entrance into Heaven when your time comes.

We shouldn't allow ourselves to be casual about that. It is phenomenal, it is awesome, it is wondrous, it is marvelous, it is unfathomable. Honestly, I don't know a superlative adjective that describes what it is. The Psalmist would have said "It is too high, I cannot attain to it."

The resurrection of Jesus was the most significant event to ever happened. If you believe it, respect it.

(If you don't believe any of these things I'm saying, you won't likely be struck down by lightning as divine punishment to make you believe. I wouldn't take too much comfort from that however, because if you die still refusing to believe, you will wish you had. Believe it and be forgiven. Please. If you

need some help, or have any questions, contact the church or contact me or contact someone you know is a Bible-believing Christian. Do not delay.) Comments are welcome. [Gary S. Hatrick, (813) 312-7119,]

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