Yesterday was Easter Sunday. For most Christians around the world, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord was celebrated. For most, you ask? That’s right – for most.
I’m sure you’re wondering the same thing that others might be wondering – what do you mean “for most?”
Well, for those of us in attendance at the Northwest Tampa Church of Christ, we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. We also spent time talking about the last week of the life of Jesus – the Triumphal Entry, the Last Supper, His time in the Garden, His trial, His crucifixion, and finally, His resurrection.
Sadly, there were churches out there that did not spend time even discussing the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.
Now, let me stop here and state that it is not a mandatory rule that we do this. In fact, no where in the Bible does it mention Easter, or that we need to spend one Sunday out of 52 weeks celebrating the resurrection.
But let me ask you – why wouldn’t we do this?
I talked with several people yesterday and today about how their Easter church service went – and I had about 5 people who said “Our church didn’t even talk about the resurrection, except for in a prayer during Communion” – or something similar to that.
In the Churches of Christ – we take Communion/The Lord’s Supper every Sunday. Somewhere along the way, members who were of the slightly more conservative persuasion decided that we didn’t need to celebrate the resurrection on “Easter” because we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection every week during Communion. They were afraid, I suppose, that if we talked about the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, that it would be too “denominational” and we would be erring.
That makes me sad. It makes me sad that there are people who would specifically choose NOT to talk about the resurrection of our Lord and Savior on a certain day, basically because a church they disagree with is doing the same thing that day.
Sounds silly doesn’t it?
Its the same way at Christmas – you could sing “O Come All Ye Faithful” all year long until December, but then when December hits, you can’t sing it any more because its as if by singing that song, you’re saying that Jesus was indeed born in December.
Here are a few reasons why you SHOULD celebrate the resurrection on Easter Sunday, and perhaps even make it the emphasis of your Sunday worship:
1. There’s nothing wrong with it. Let me make one thing clear – it is NEVER not okay to talk about Jesus. The resurrection is a great topic, and is always appropriate to discuss on a Sunday morning, a Tuesday afternoon, or a Friday night.
2. People expect it. Believe it or not, even non-Christians, visitors who have never been to Church, or anyone else you can think of have to make a decision to go to church on Easter Sunday. I know, they should be more “faithful” in their attendance, but they made the decision to go on Easter. They probably even know, since Easter is about the resurrection, to expect a lesson on it.
3. Its a great opportunity. You’ll have one of the largest percentages of unchurched, non-Christian visitors on this day. Why would you not take time to tell them about how Jesus died, and then conquered death, and rose from the dead?
4. It is one of the most, if not THE MOST, important things in the New Testament. I read somewhere that the resurrection is the crowning proof of Christianity. In reality – everything that Jesus did, the disciples did – is secondary in importance to the Resurrection.
If there was no resurrection, what we do now is in vain, its not true.
Death is a great enemy, and Jesus defeated it. None of us can. But Jesus can.
For those of you who use the idea that we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection in the Churches of Christ every week, let me ask you this: Do we really?
Sadly, I can count on one hand the amount of times we’ve discussed the resurrection during Communion time. We’re so good about focusing on the pain and the sacrifice portion, but rarely do we bring up during Communion the part about how Jesus rose from the grave, and now lives forever. You see, its not just that Jesus died, but he rose from the dead, and never died again. And He won’t. He’ll live forever, having defeated death.
Listen, I know we get nervous. I know we want to make sure we do things right so we don’t stray from the Scriptures or the teachings of the New Testament. But talking about the resurrection on Easter Sunday is not a sin. It’s not wrong. It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing to talk about our risen Savior, and not just on Easter Sunday, but every day of the year.
Beautiful words Lane, thank you. We had a great resurrection sermon yesterday at Fernvale. You were there in our hearts. God Bless you and your family and your work in Tampa.