THE IRON PEN by Daniel Hite

March 25, 2016

Easter and Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 7:30 am

In American (and old European) culture, Christmas and Easter have been the two most popular Christian holidays for centuries–nearly two millennia. These two celebrations have historically brought more people to church than any other emphasis. Believer and non-believer alike have some sense of what both holidays actually mean to them. Both holidays have been equally distorted and commercialized as well. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny may be as popular as Jesus Himself. A “holiday” used to have a purely “Holy-Day” meaning much more than what it has come to mean today. Over the centuries, the two Christian celebrations have morphed in meaning so as to affect all of culture, not just the “religious” culture.

King Size Bed CrossBut Bible-believing Christians must not forget what is the truth of the matter–the singular meanings of these two popular celebrations called Christmas and Easter. While Christmas may be the most popular and celebrated of the two, it does not have the overall emphasis in the Holy Scriptures and depth of doctrinal meaning as does Easter. Neither word appears in the Bible (You may find “Easter” appear once in some 17th century translations, but it is a more cultural rather than translatable word in the text.) Early on, both holidays were co-celebrated with popular pagan feasts, maybe to give everybody alike a day off with something to celebrate. These mixed holidays have probably been at least partly responsible for the diluted version of our celebrations today. Be that as it may, the Christian Christmas is not about Santa Claus (and his authentic St. Nicholas counterpart) and gift-giving; it is about the birth of the God-Man, Jesus, and His unique entry into human history. In the same way, the Christian Easter (if you will) is not about Spring and multiplying bunnies, it is about a historical event that happened in the life of this same Jesus. It is the life-altering story and the culmination of our new relationship with the God of the Bible–life-altering because it changes everything in the life of a believer, and culmination because it is the single-most important event in history that affects the end of time and of the world as we know it! It is an event that is mind-blowing and scientifically challenging, but an event of God-ordained design and necessity! It is the literal RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ from a physical state of death to a physical state of life! This event changed all of history–in fact, it changed EVERYTHING! It is the event of the Resurrection of Jesus from the grave that launched the Church of the “living” God, the “Body of Christ” that assumed the responsibility of sharing the message of the resurrected Christ to a lost and dying world. Death to LifeEaster is the culmination of Christmas. 

Jesus’ entry into this world was for the purpose of showing Himself as Savior and Lord–Savior as the one and only antidote to man’s plight of spiritual and physical death (because of sin), and Lord as the one and only who has conquered death, hell, and the grave. Jesus owns it because He overcame it, and He owns all of His creation by right of who He is and what He has done. God has given Jesus the name above every name, that at His name, everyone eventually declares Him Lord of all. The resurrection of Jesus on that first “Lord’s Day,” Sun(Son)day, was the day everything changed. Death died. All the effects of sin were obliterated. Hope was reborn in the human soul. Human death and misery gave way to life eternal in the paradise of God. Perfection became reachable and eternal life real! Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men! Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!…

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!
To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever!
Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
(All taken from the Book of Revelation)

Jesus is Lord of All. And because Jesus rose from the dead, so shall we who are His at His coming. Hear the Word of the Lord:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (Paul – 1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (1 Corinthians 15:20-26)

Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:50-57)

We may enjoy Christmas, but it’s all about Easter! And Easter is all about resurrection. Hosanna! He is risen! He is risen indeed!

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1 Comment »

  1. Friday, March 25, 2016
    Pastor Dan Hite, thank you!
    Love,
    Bud and Nancy Williams

    Comment by the Williams Family — March 25, 2016 @ 3:36 pm | Reply


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