Summary: How do we apply the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, not the dates but that event, to our daily lives?
Have you heard of C and E Christians? C and E Christians believe you only have to worship Christ twice a year; during Christmas and Easter! Of course true Christians know that the actual celebrations are about the First Coming of the Savior to earth and the completion of dealing with people’s sins with the Resurrection; Jesus Christ rose from the dead!
But, do we just celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ once a year? What about tomorrow or the next day or February 29 when that day comes around again? What should the Resurrection of Jesus Christ mean to us Christians on a daily basis? This is the challenge for us today!
Why does the world call today Easter and is celebrated in the calendar April 4 of this year 2021? Easter Sunday last year was April 12! Why is Christmas always celebrated on December 25 and Easter Sunday date always changes?
And how did the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ became Easter? One explanation is a 7th Century Monk Historian named Bede wrote that the month in which English Christians were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus had been called Eosturmonath in Old English, referring to a goddess named Eostre. And even though Christians had begun affirming the Christian meaning of the celebration, they continued to use the name of the goddess to designate the season; and of course this is brought to America, like St. Patrick’s Day (Did you know that St. Patrick was never actually sainted by the church? But because of myths, Patrick got the title Saint!). And remember from last week? 1 Timothy 1:4 tells us not to devote ourselves to myths. Now back to the schedule of Easter….
First Century Christians celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Nissan, the first day of Passover! If we follow that same understanding, we should have celebrated the Resurrection last Wednesday!
You see, there are at least 40 different calendars people us today!
Now, during the 4th Century, a consensus (Christian council) was made during that Easter Sunday will be on the Sunday right after the first Full Moon after the Spring equinox.
Confused about dates? I want you to be confused!
Dates can be confusing; but like Christmas, the point is to know why we celebrate “events” not the dates! Have you ever heard yourself say, “Christmas should not just be once a year but everyday of the year!”? We Christians should be celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ everyday! Because He lives, I can face today and tomorrow!! God actually alludes to this through the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3…..
Read along with me now Philippians 3:7-21….
v7-9: Saul, who became the Apostle Paul, realized that righteousness comes only through faith (meaning - belief, trust, confidence, fidelity) in Jesus Christ, the only one perfect, righteous, and holy! The Apostle Paul states in Romans 3:23 “All (including himself) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”; no matter how hard a person tries to do good and be in church all your life; one little sin, a little lie, a little evil thought will separate a person from a Holy God, but to be found in Christ is to be righteous, because Jesus is the Only Righteous One!
And so, how about us today? Do we still hang on to all the supposed religious things we did in the past, including going to church every Sunday, taking communion, participating in many religious rituals and traditions? We can not earn our way to be in Christ, to be in the family of God! Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Do you faith in Christ alone?
v10-12: Paul knew the power of Jesus Christ and He desired it for he knew his sins will bring death to his body! Paul witnessed the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christ (rising from the dead)! Paul understood that Jesus is God who became flesh to take on the sins of all people, therefore Jesus had to die; but Paul also personally met the RISEN Christ! Paul knew what he was talking about! Paul is an eye-witness for us!
But, even though his Creator God and Savior Jesus Christ personally taught Paul, he did not see himself done with his holding on to Jesus Christ because he was still living on earth! Paul was still trying to understand the fullness of the love of Christ!
Paul while still alive on earth, pursued to take hold of Jesus Christ and the power over death (to have the power of Resurrection)! What are we pursuing in our lives for today and for tomorrow? I’m not saying don’t dream or plan, but as Christians, we must prioritize our lives with Jesus Christ in mind!