Many people know bits and pieces of the story. After all, Easter is a major holiday in this country and in many around the world, but definitely not all.
Does Easter require explanation?
In a day of bunnies and colored eggs, for those who know the real reason for the season, we have become the minority. And even, for those who might know it’s about Jesus’ death and resurrection, do they really understand why he had to die and the significance of his defeat over death?
I think that’s what hit me as my pastor recently preached on the seventeenth chapter of Acts, and the apostle Paul’s visit to a city called Thessalonica. I know, long word, but a fun one to say. Thessalonica is in modern-day Greece, in the region of Macedonia. Paul and his friends always made their first stop, in those days, the local synagogue, knowing that they would find some God-fearing Jews and even Greeks. Here they would also find people who knew parts of what we call the Old Testament—the Law of Moses, the books of the prophets, and psalms. Listen to what Luke writes about Paul’s technique:
He reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,” he said.Acts 17:3 (NIV)
While those Paul reasoned with knew some of the Bible, what do people around us know? What do people in our own church know about Jesus?
Why is the death and resurrection of Christ important anyway? Why do we celebrate it?
Can you explain and prove from Scripture why Jesus had to suffer and rise from the dead? As we prepare for Resurrection Sunday, do a personal study of Old Testament passages that speak of the suffering Savior. Reflect on the sacrificial system that was a foreshadowing of Christ’s coming as the Lamb of God.
Write out a before-and-after explanation of why Christ had to die and rise from the dead. Compare what you know before you dig deeper to what you learn by doing an in-depth study.
As you do personal reflection on the subject, ask the Lord to open opportunities to share what you’ve learned with a friend or family member. Who can you reason with using the biblical passages you’ve learned? Who is waiting to hear that Jesus is the Christ, who suffered, died, and rose again, that they might be saved?
If ever there was a day that Easter needed explaining, it’s today. Will you take the challenge?
He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
Grace and Peace