How exciting is Christmas?
The presents, Christmas specials on TV, the family gathering ‘round the open fire, the food, two bank holidays and, of course, Jesus was born. It’s fantastic and everyone looks forward to it.
But to me, it’s Easter that holds the key message for my life.
At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’s birth but we remember his death on Good Friday.
Why would I say that Jesus’s death is more important than his birth?
It’s because Jesus could have been born, been a good man, done some good stuff and gone back to Heaven and life would have carried on as before.
However, at Easter, we celebrate the most wonderful gift – not just that God sent Jesus, but that in dying, he gave us eternal life.
As a Christian, I believe we live in a broken world and, because I am human, I will do wrong by God in my daily life.
I will gossip, I will lie, I will be rude and quick-tempered for no reason (among many other more serious vices).
However, God decided to wipe the slate clean before I was even born.
What happened was that Jesus, an innocent human being, was sentenced to death on a cross.
He took all my crimes, he took the sins of every human being that had ever lived and that would ever live in the future and he was brutally crucified.
On Easter Day, Jesus ascended into Heaven.
Even though I have held my Christian beliefs my whole life, I still find Jesus’ sacrifice awe-inspiring.
I’m saddened that so few people know the true meaning of Easter but I am glad it has not been as over-commercialised as Christmas.
The point of Christmas has been lost behind the glitz and glamour.
It’s very difficult to sell a dirty stable and a virgin birth to children these days, just as it is hard to share the message of some devastated disciples, an empty tomb and forgiveness for sins people do not even believe are that bad.
I genuinely feel emotions beyond words when I think of what Jesus went through for me.
Some people think religion is stuffy and all about rules and regulations.
But for me, my faith is about having a unique relationship with God.
Going to church, being in fellowship with other Christians and following some traditions helps me develop and maintain my relationship with God.
At Easter, I like spending time recounting the actions Jesus went through during his final days and hours as a mark of respect and to realign my focus on what God wants for my life.