Easter is a time of renewal — a reminder of life restored. The natural sense of the coming of spring mingles for the day with the Christian promise of eternal life through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Christianity was born in persecution. Jesus spoke the truth to the religious leaders of the day and they conspired with civil officials to kill Him.
Christians suffered persecution at the hands of the Romans, Pagan barbarians and Muslim invaders over the centuries. Great Christian civilizations like the Byzantine Empire were wiped from the map. Today, Christians die for their beliefs at the hands of the Islamic State’s Muslim fanatics.
Real religious persecution is hard for us to truly comprehend in this country. Christians battle with secular humanists and each other over social issues of the day — abortion, capital punishment, same-sex marriage — and the passion on both sides of each issue is real. In the West with its promise of religious liberty, Christianity’s greatest enemy is apathy and a growing indifference to spirituality.
This weekend, about 2 billion Christians will celebrate the most important event on the church calendar. Christmas — the celebration of the birth of Jesus — might attract the most attention in the secular world because of its great commercial importance. But Easter is essential to Christianity’s very meaning.
For Christians, there is no Christianity without Jesus’ resurrection. It promises victory over death. It promises eternal life. It promises salvation. And Christians believe it is granted freely to all who seek it.
Easter’s celebration again brings hope to Christians around the globe. Now, as they have through the centuries, many will take comfort in that hope in a world that seems to be growing increasingly dangerous and chaotic.
And on Easter, we mark the cycle of life and death and life again, knowing joy and pain are its inevitable shoots. We endure and we rejoice and we remember once more we can renew and begin again.
We hope all of our readers have a happy, safe Easter weekend.