Friday, March 30, 2012

Opportunities abound as Easter approaches

This is an exciting time of year. Though it has felt spring-like since February, spring will hit its stride as we head into April.

All the great aspects of the season will be on display for us. Along with nature’s beauty, we will have lots of options when it comes to filling our time. This is primarily because of the longer days of sunlight, but not everything is tied to that.

However, as April gets started, Christians around the world will have the chance to take part in that religion’s most important holiday. Easter is just around the corner on April 8.

The importance of this holiday cannot be overstated. The holiday commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ following His crucifixion. Simply put, Christians believe this is the most important event in world history.

All aspects of the religion point back to this event. Without it, the religion would collapse like a house of cards. The religion would be just another false faith, and the followers of Jesus would be wasting their time.

While those sound like harsh statements, it is the truth. If Jesus had not been resurrected, He would not have fulfilled what he told His disciples. Jesus told them this would happen, and if it had not, He would have been just another false prophet. Therefore, Christianity without the Resurrection would be like ice cream without the ice or the cream.

Currently, the holiday is a little over a week away. At this point, there has been little build up to it. There have been some observances, but compared to Christmas, the lack of anticipation for Easter is noticeable.

That is not meant as a knock at Christmas. Recognizing the birth of Jesus is very important, but our society has taken the holiday and trivialized it to the point that it is hardly recognizable. The spiritual aspects of it have been ground into a fine powder by many.

This has not happened to Easter, and perhaps this is why the build up to it is not the same. Businesses have not developed a way to make billions of dollars off it so it has been left alone to a certain degree.

Still, the holiday deserves more attention than it receives. Because of this, Christians have a tremendous opportunity. Simply by taking the time to take part in the various commemorations in the coming week, they can shine a bright and positive light on why these events are observed.

Sunday is considered ‘Palm Sunday’ by many. This commemorates Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem when palm branches were strewn before Him. Of course, many of the people who cheered Him that day were likely among the ones who cried for His crucifixion only days later. This is a vivid example of human nature, and how people can turn on others in an instant. In this case, many who viewed Jesus as someone who could liberate Jerusalem from Roman rule turned against Him when the winds of change blew. However, that is a story for another time.

Just taking the time to ponder the circumstances of ‘Palm Sunday’ or ‘The Last Supper’ (later in the week) can cause Easter to have a more meaningful impact for you personally. It really does not take that much effort. We have the world at our fingertips on-line. How difficult is it to at least ‘google’ these events and read about them?

Like most things in life, the next week or so is what we make of it. This time can be just another week for all of us. Or it can be a time when we stop and consider this amazing part of history.

Let’s make a good decision.

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