Should Christians celebrate Easter?

Christians are not specifically commanded to celebrate Easter, but it is certainly acceptable for them to do so. Easter, or Resurrection Sunday as some prefer to call it, is the highpoint of the Christian calendar when Christians celebrate the saving work of Jesus Christ (Luke 1:76–78; 1 Corinthians 15:3–8). To understand why Christians celebrate Easter, it's important to understand at least some of the history behind this singularly significant event.

The history of humanity began almost immediately with rebellion against God. In the garden of Eden, where the first man and woman lived and walked and talked with God, He gave them one rule: do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan deceived Eve and both she and Adam ate the fruit (Genesis 2—3).

This act of rebellion resulted in a permanent severing of their relationship with God and curses on the entire human race (Romans 5:12) and the earth (Romans 8:19–22). But at the same time, God promised a solution to the problem would come. That solution was always Jesus (Genesis 3:14–19).

Jesus was miraculously conceived and born to a virgin named Mary (Luke 1:26–38). Jesus is God in human form (John 1:1–18; Colossians 1:15–17). He was born humbly and lived a sinless life, as only He could (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5–11). Jesus knew that His purpose was to die as a sacrifice to pay for all the sin of all time of all humans, being Himself the substitution that turned away God's wrath (John 10:10–18). But not only did He pay that price, He also defeated death because death could not hold Him (1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:54–58). Jesus rose from the dead, proving He is who He claims, that His payment for sin was sufficient, and that He is victorious over sin and death.

Christianity is belief in Jesus Christ, who He is, and what He did for us. On Easter we specifically celebrate Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. We also remember this in communion and every time the gospel is preached. But Easter is a special celebration of all that Jesus has done for us.

Christians in cultures and regions around the world celebrate Easter differently, and certainly, some traditions have become attached to the holiday that were never meant to be associated with it. However, Christians can find a God-honoring way to celebrate the day that marks the beginning of the Christian faith.

Also note that because Easter has become a cultural holiday with Christian undertones in some cultures, Easter is often an excellent opportunity to share the gospel with those who don't yet know Jesus. They might know that Easter is particularly meaningful for Christians and be curious to come to church. They might recognize that Easter is not just a celebration of spring or about a bunny who delivers chocolate eggs, and they might want to know more. Easter is often one of the most highly attended Sundays at churches. Christians can gather to rejoice together in the truth of the gospel and also share that joy with others who need Christ.

It might be easy to get hung up on the how instead of the why in the celebrating. Sometimes, we grow up with very strong family traditions that become so intertwined with the holiday that we have a hard time separating them, or worse, we judge others for those traditions. God is infinitely invested in our hearts' attitudes first. We should ask for Him to reveal our why so that we can honor and love Him through our how. Our personal convictions in these areas are typically highly personal. What's important to you and/or your family will likely be different than someone else's. Colossians 2:16–23 and Romans 14 can be helpful guides as we consider our celebration of Easter.

Christians can absolutely celebrate Easter in a way that worships the one true God in His triune perfection as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Traditions can add to our understanding and to the joy of our celebration. Just be sure they do not become to focus on a day when it is Jesus who deserves all our love and adoration (Luke 10:27).

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