Compared with Christmas, Easter seems to be the poor relation of Christian festivals. I know we have Eggs, Bunnies and Bonnets, but Easter doesn't attract the same frenzied attention as the Christmas period. That is understandable. Remembering the birth of a Child is a more obvious cause of joy and gladness than recalling the death of a Man.
But what we commemorate at Christmas time, the birth of Jesus Christ was not an end in itself. Christians believe that the Son of God was born into our world as man to bring us back to God. For that to happen Jesus had to suffer and die on the Cross for the wrong things that we have done. He wasn’t forced to die in our place. He willingly laid down his life that we may be forgiven and put right with God. That is the measure of his love for the world.
Jesus was crucified and buried on Good Friday. But that is not the end of the story. Jesus rose again from the dead on the first Easter Sunday morning. He showed himself to his amazed followers, convincing them that he was alive from the dead. ‘He is risen!’ is the glad message of Easter.
Now those who believe in Jesus can have a restored relationship with God and the hope of everlasting life. ‘Jesus is risen!’ He is the reason for our hope.
* For the Easter edition of The White Horse News.