Some Thoughts on Easter

By: Zach Collins

As I was growing up, there were many things that I liked about Easter. I loved the feeling of family, the anticipation that I received from gathering the most Easter eggs in the annual Easter Egg Hunt, and seeing everyone dressed up in their finest outfits was always a delight. However, while my family and I enjoyed the secular version of this holiday, it was never a Sunday of any more significance than the other 51 Sundays in the year. It is quite shocking to people that the churches of Christ do not celebrate the religious holiday of “Easter” as a “Holy Day.” This appears as strange to many in the religious world.

You will notice, this morning, that I am not preaching on the topic of Jesus’ resurrection, but rather the importance of, “loving your neighbor as yourself” (c.f., Mark 12:30-31). Let me, first, state that this is not because I am opposed to preaching about the resurrection on the day the world calls, “Easter.” However, in 2024, it happens that the day of “Easter” fell at the end of the month of March, when we have been exploring a series on “The Greatest Commands.” I suppose there will be mixed reactions. To some, they will be thrilled at the omission of the resurrection on this day in the pulpit. To others, the absence of this topic in the pulpit might be deemed “irreverent.

For a moment, can I expound on why both mindsets are erring?

First, for the sake of our conversation, let us explore the latter instead of the former. Is it wrong to treat “Easter” as any other Sunday and not preach on the resurrection of Jesus Christ? No. From the establishment of the church, in Acts 2, to the conclusion of the New Testament, in Revelation 22, I never find a single scriptural precedent to celebrate Ash Wednesday, Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or Easter. Where do we find the word “Easter?” Turn your Bible to Acts 12:4. If you are reading from the King James Version, you will notice the word “Easter” is found. Most translations read “Passover”, which is the correct transliteration of the original Greek word. The word “Easter”, in this passage, is a human error brought about through human fault. The Bible never mentions the celebration of Easter, not even once. Instead, I read of the resurrection of Jesus Christ being celebrated and memorialized on the first day of every week, not just one Sunday a year (c.f., Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:20-26). In fact, why did early Christians worship on Sunday? It was the day that Jesus was resurrected (c.f., Matthew 28:1). Hence, God gathered us disciples together on this day to worship. Scripturally, it is careless to treat Easter Sunday as a “Holy Day”, or of greater significance than any other Sunday.

Secondly, let us now explore the latter assertion. Should we completely avoid the topic of the resurrection on the day the world calls “Easter” at all costs? No. If our purpose is to celebrate and memorialize the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the first day of every week, then by purposely avoiding the topic of the resurrection we are drawing ourselves away from our purpose. It is the power of the cross. We should be less excited about “sticking it to the religious world” and more emphatic about “converting the lost in the religious world.” If “loving your neighbor as yourself” is a matter of salvation (c.f., Luke 10:25-28), then putting this notion into action involves sharing the message of Christ with others. On Sunday, minds around the world are pausing to contemplate the resurrection of Christ. Can you think of a better day of the year to share what the resurrection can mean to the lives of the lost? Eternal life (c.f., John 11:25). We must redeem these opportunities, as presented, to present the pure version of the gospel.

The story of the resurrection did not end on the day He arose. It is the continuing story of the defeat of sin and death in the lives of Christians. Let us do nothing without biblical authority (c.f., Colossians 3:16) while taking every opportunity to share with others the good news, which includes the resurrection of Jesus Christ (c.f., 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).