And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. Matthew 28:5-7
A recent snowstorm left me wondering if Spring would ever come. While the area farmers and ranchers desperately needed the moisture, I was spoiled by the warm days preceding the storm. I spent those days out in the flowerbed digging out the dead weeds and grass in preparation of flowers to come. The perennials looked like they were dead, but I know they will eventually be in full bloom drawing the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to them.
The promise of Spring brings with it the celebration of Easter which occurs earlier than normal this year even though many of the fruit trees are already in bloom. A friend forwarded an email about Easter with some interesting facts I would like to share. The author or compiler of the email is unknown.
Easter always occurs on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox (March 20) Easter is based on the lunar calendar the Jews used in their observance of Passover while we use the Roman calendar. By using the lunar calendar, the earliest that Easter can occur is March 22. The latest date is April 25. It was interesting to learn that the last time Easter occurred on March 22 was 1818 and the next time will be in 2285!
As for Easter on March 23, this will be the only time most people will observe it in their lifetime since the last time it occurred this early was way back in 1913 and won’t occur again until 2228! These reasons alone should make Easter memorable this year, but there is another more important reason for all humanity.
God, through Jesus Christ His Son made it possible for all of us to have eternal life, but it was purchased with a high price. Jesus paid that price by dying on the cross for our sins. Before Easter came there was that bleak Friday when Jesus hung on the cross asking His Father to forgive those who had sinned against Him. The Pharisees and political leaders taunted Him to save Himself by coming down off of the cross. After Jesus was dead, they thought the situation was taken care of once and for all.
Jesus’ body was hurriedly laid in a borrowed tomb because it was almost the Jewish Sabbath. While He was in the tomb I can’t imagine what the disciples were going through although we know about two of them. There was Judas who couldn’t live with what he had done and went out and hung himself. Peter wept bitterly after He denied Jesus three times after claiming that he would even die for Jesus.
Finally came Sunday when the tomb could no longer hold Jesus. Victorious over death and sin Jesus was alive forever. The Bible tells of the women who went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus for burial, but Jesus wasn’t there. I can only imagine the scene as an angel told them that Jesus wasn’t there. Jesus had accomplished what no human could do; conquer death once and for all.
What occurred almost two thousand years ago is still relevant for us today. While Easter takes place earlier than usual this year, there are more reasons that it is so special. It is more than bunnies and eggs. It isn’t about the new clothes that are worn on Easter morning. It isn’t a once a year obligation to attend a church service although going to church is a start. No, Easter is a reminder that through Jesus Christ we can live with Him forever in heaven.
We celebrate Easter early but there will come a day when we won’t be observing it here on this earth. There will come a day when Jesus comes back for those who accepted Him as their Savior. For all of the rest, it will be too late. It won’t be calculated on the Calendar like the observance of Easter but will come when we least expect it.
If you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Savior, there is no perfect time like now. Young or old, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what your past may be, just look at the second chance that Peter had after that first Easter. What is on your calendar for Easter this year?