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The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection

I remember growing up in Plant City, Fla., as a young boy.

During this time of the year, my late brothers, Abraham and Daniel, and myself got a barber shop haircut. Normally, our dad would cut our hair.

This was a special occasion when we would also get a brand-new suit, and a new pair of shoes. I would ask my late father, Abraham Bivins, what was so important about this day called Easter.

He would say Jesus died for the world that we might be saved. We would say our Easter speeches in church. We could not read them, but we had to say them from memory.

My sister would be happy because she would get a new dress, a new pair of shoes and get her hair done in candy curls. We would hunt Easter eggs and have a good time. I can remember our pastor preaching every Easter Sunday: “He is not here, but He has risen.”

Those are childhood memories that I will always cherish and share with my children.

Today, that message is still the same as stated in Matthew 28:6.

“He is not here, for He is risen, as He said.”

This is an awesome celebration because Jesus is alive and well!

It is a great celebration because our Savior died for us and he rose from the dead.

As we hear the term Easter, it is the oldest Christian festival except for the weekly Sunday celebration. Although the exact date is disputed and the specific observances of the festival developed over the centuries, it is very clear that Easter had special significance to the early generations of Christians.

Since Christ’s passion and resurrection at the time of the Jewish Passover, the Jewish Christians probably transformed their Passover observation into a celebration of the events of their new faith.

In the early centuries, the annual observance was called the Passover and focused on Christ as the Passover Lamb.

By 300 A.D., most churches devoted “Good Friday” to the crucifixion and Easter Sunday to the resurrection.

Jesus’ resurrection is the key to the Christian faith.

Why?

Just as He said, Jesus rose from the dead.

From Jesus’ example, we as His people can be confident that He will accomplish all that He promised us.

Jesus’ resurrection was a miraculous event. This silenced all of the false accusations about Him. His resurrection also caused those who crucified Him to tremble with fear.

Jesus rose with all power in His hands on earth and in Heaven,

The divine power that brought Jesus back to life is now available to us today. This power will bring our spiritual bodies back to Christ.

The resurrection is also the basis for the church’s witness to the world. His ascension was just as important because without it, He could not send us the Holy Spirit to help us in our daily lives.

The scriptures tell us that when Jesus died, the earth turned dark. There was an earthquake and the saints who were dead got up from their graves and went into the holy city and appeared to many.

The soldiers who pierced Him confessed that “surely He was the Son of God,” Matthew: 27:51-54. We must have faith, believe and live according to his Word.

When it is dark in our lives, we must look to the cross where Jesus paid the price for us.

He was the sacrificial Lamb who gave his life for the entire human race.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believe in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” John 3:16.

Happy Resurrection Day! For He is not here, but He has risen as He said!