10 Reasons Why Easter is My Second Favorite Church Holiday

…and why my titles are so long.  Just kidding.

I love celebrations and parties.  The more things to celebrate, the better!  I have four favorite holidays.  Two of them are the Fourth of July and My Birthday.  I think these holidays both have a magical quality.  They are full of cheer, family and friends, fireworks, and great food.  What more could you ask for?

My other two favorites are “church” holidays, meaning they relate to historical biblical events and celebrate incredible truths about the God I believe in.  These are Christmas and Easter.  It is amazing that we are able to celebrate our story of redemption through Jesus Christ by marveling in God’s story of salvation.  So here are 10 reasons why Easter is on my “top 4” list of Holidays.

Sidebar: I am also a fan of every holiday that gets me out of work for a day.

10.  Easter speaks of Spring.

Easter is usually around the end of March/beginning of April, which is just when Vermont is starting to think about bringing Spring around (hopefully).  It’s an exciting time of year when things start to bloom.  Spring is a symbolic season for Easter…it represents Jesus Christ’s resurrection and the hope that comes with new life.

9.  It makes me think.

I don’t normally reflect on every holiday, but I do spend a lot of time thinking about Easter every year.  Read John 13-20 and you’ll see what I mean.

8.  Malted milk balls, Starburst Jelly Beans, and Peeps are in stores.

Need I say more?!

7.   It’s a reminder that Jesus has conquered death!

What?  How is that possible?!?  Acts 2:24 says “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”  Cool.  So the most scary, most sure thing in the entire world is conquered.  That’s awesome!

6.  It provides great excuse to get a new dress.

Ok, well it use to.  Every Easter my mom would take us dress shopping.  I loved getting a new dress!  Now that I am poor and clothes cost a lot of money, I have given this tradition up.  Maybe someday it will resume…

5.  It’s a reminder that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice.

In the Old Testament (OT), we read about the Jews having to offer up sacrifices for their sins.  This didn’t happen once a month or when they felt like … it happened all the time.  The OT sacrificial system was a bloody, exhausting ritual that never fully satisfied God’s wrath against sin.  When Jesus came to earth as a man, lived a perfect life, died a terrible death, and rose again, he accomplished what no amount of animal sacrifice could: a once-for-all payment for our sin.  “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” I Peter 1:18-19  “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. ” I Peter 3:18.

4.  There are a lot of special music ensembles.

And I mean a lot.  It’s always fun to listen to or participate in special ensembles at church.

3.  My mom can make a killer ham dinner.

It’s true.  And it’s delicious.  I don’t like Thanksgiving because I’m not a huge fan of the “thanksgiving food,” but I love Easter because of the “Easter food.”  That’s weird, I know.

2.  It’s a reminder that the Temple veil is torn in two.

Again in the Old Testament, the Temple was built as a place of worship.  The Most Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies, was the most sacred part of the temple because God dwelled there.  The Mercy Seat and the Ark of the Covenant were housed in this place.  No one could enter the Most Holy Place – if they did, they would die.  It was separated from the Holy Place by a thick veil.  The High Priest was the only one who could enter, and he could only enter once a year after taking numerous steps of purification and cleansing (Leviticus 16).  When Jesus died on the cross, “at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook and the rocks split.” Matthew 27:32-54  Jesus’ death opened the way to God!  He is now our mediator and we are no longer separated from our God.  The relationship that was broken in the Garden of Eden has been restored.  We can now commune with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.  That’s definitely something to celebrate.

1.  It’s a reminder that Jesus Christ is enough.  He has fully satisfied God’s justice and wrath for my sin.

Romans 5:9-11 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!  Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

And there you have it – my top 10 for Easter.  I am so thankful that God sent His only son to die on the cross for me, a sinner.  I think that’s worth dwelling on over this next week.