By Tessa Emily Hall, Crosswalk.com
The celebration of Easter never fails to excite my spirit. When I was a kid, however, the chocolate-covered bunnies were to thank for this giddiness. I would look forward to finding those hidden Easter baskets in the morning and then going Easter egg hunting after church. But Easter is so much more than chocolate, eggs, and bunnies. It is the season for us to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, which is the cause of our eternal salvation and the reason for our hope. One of the ways I like to prepare my heart for this season is by reading books on the resurrection, as well as religious Easter quotes; that way, I can reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and remember the hope I have in Christ because of His resurrection.
What Is Easter?
Easter is the Christian holiday in which we celebrate and remember Jesus’ resurrection from the grave, which occurred over 2000 years ago. According to the Bible, we believe that Jesus Christ was persecuted and crucified on the cross, receiving the punishment that we deserved for our sins. He voluntarily took our place so that we could receive eternal life through Him, direct access to the Father, righteousness, redemption, and the cleansing of our sins, all without having to offer sacrifices. Now, when we repent, we can receive forgiveness for our sins. We can rejoice, too, that we will not receive the eternal punishment we deserve for our sins.
Jesus’ crucifixion is remembered on Good Friday, and His miraculous resurrection—which occurred three days after His death—is then celebrated on Easter.
Why Is Easter so Important for Christians?
As Christians, we have a reason to rejoice. We have been redeemed through the shedding of Christ’s blood on Calvary. Because of His death, we, too, are dead to our old life—and because of His resurrection, we, too, have resurrected into new life. This is the reason we celebrate Easter. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on the extent of this sacrifice. Easter invites us to express our gratitude for this gift of eternal life, this gift that costs far more than we can ever comprehend.
Why is Easter important? Because Jesus’ crucifixion is the foundation of our faith. Without the resurrection, we would have nothing except perhaps morality. Every day, we should remain in constant awareness and gratitude that Jesus’ love for us drove Him to the cross. It is there that He paid for our eternal salvation. This annual holiday especially provides a time for us to rejoice.
You see, this sacrifice is more than just another Bible story or historical event. It is far more than popular folklore. It is the very reason that we believers have life abiding within us in this very moment. It is the reason we can walk through life with peace, joy, and grave-conquering strength through Christ. Because of this crucifixion, Jesus now resides within us. Because of this crucifixion, we have a hope that could never be found in this world. Christ is in us, He is with us, and because of that, we will never have to walk through life on our own.
Easter is a time to rejoice—because “it is finished” (see John 19:30). Evil has been conquered. Jesus has defeated the grave. Those of us who are in Christ are covered by the blood of the Lamb and no longer need to be held back by the sins of our past, because the One who is in us is greater than “he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The darkness of this world is no match for the light inside of us, and because of that, nothing in this life has the power to ultimately destroy us or take away our eternal security in Christ.
This is why we celebrate Easter.
What Does the Bible Say about Easter?
The very essence of the entire New Testament is Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Our new life in Christ is embedded into the entirety of the New Testament and foreshadowed in the Old Testament.
Of course, there are several Scriptures that celebrate the resurrection. Below are some passages that can help us call upon the remembrance of the new life we now have in Christ because of this sacrifice.
“Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:14-17.
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:4-6.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God” Romans 5:8-11.
“He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world” 1 John 2:2.
“And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. ‘For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” John 3:14-17.
“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God” 1 Corinthians 1:18.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” Galatians 2:20.
“He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” Colossians 2:14.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” 1 Peter 2:24.
“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree’” Galatians 3:13.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1.
15 Religious Easter Quotes to Celebrate Christ's Resurrection
“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” Basil Hume
“Because of the empty tomb, we have peace. Because of His resurrection, we can have peace during even the most troubling of times because we know He is in control of all that happens in the world.” Paul Chappell
“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’” Billy Graham
“A dead Christ I must do everything for; a living Christ does everything for me.” Andrew Murray
“Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.” Watchman Nee
“Before the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit came upon individuals only on certain occasions for special tasks. But now, after the resurrection, Christ through the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer to give us supernatural power in living our daily lives.” Billy Graham
“We must not forget that it wasn’t the Jews that put him on the cross, and it wasn’t the Romans. It was my sins, it was your sins, the sins of this world.” Franklin Graham
“Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, we have to see it as something done by us.” John R.W. Stott
“Easter promises that what God does in the resurrection of Jesus is God's intention for the entire creation.”James A. Harnish
“But what appeared to be a defeat was actually the greatest victory of all. In his death, Jesus defeated sin. On Easter morning, death too was defeated.” Eugene H. Peterson
“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.” Janine Di Giovanni
“We shall never understand the extent of God's love in Christ at the Cross until we understand that we shall never have to stand before the judgment of God for our sins.” Billy Graham
“And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here.” St. Augustine
“God undertook the most dramatic rescue operation in cosmic history. He determined to save the human race from self-destruction, and He sent His Son Jesus Christ to salvage and redeem them. The work of man’s redemption was accomplished at the cross.” Billy Graham
“This week, whatever you may be facing, remember that in three short days, the disciples and family of Christ went from hopelessness to hopeful - from devastation to celebration, from defeat to victory! Because of the cross and the tomb, you have a hope in Christ!” Sheri Easter
For those of us who are in Christ, we are more blessed than we could ever comprehend, and there is nothing we could do to repay our Savior for this sacrifice. But this Easter, let’s try to do just that. We can take the Passover prayer and thank God that, because of Jesus, God’s presence is with us. We can express gratitude for this salvation we have in Christ through fasting and praying. We can also prepare our hearts for Easter by reading books, as well as inspirational Easter quotes and accounts of the resurrection in the Bible that can help us grasp just how blessed we are.
There are numerous ways we can celebrate Easter this year—and fortunately, we don’t need to follow a long list of rules and regulations in order to enter into God’s presence and offer thanks to Him. No, we don’t even need to dress up in our best Easter outfit in order to earn God’s attention. We can celebrate here and now, in the comfort of our own home.
And it’s all thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus/carloscastilla
Tessa Emily Hall is an award-winning author who wrote her debut novel when she was sixteen. She is now a multi-published author of both fiction and non-fiction inspirational yet authentic books for teens, including her latest release, LOVE YOUR SELFIE (October 2020, Ellie Claire). Tessa's passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens led her to a career as a Literary Agent at Cyle Young Literary Elite, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net. She is guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 128 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, teaching at writing conferences, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is to connect with readers is on her mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: www.tessaemilyhall.com.
This article is part of our larger Holy Week and Easter resource library centered around the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!
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