I don’t really understand why more people go to church on Easter than on Christmas – but that’s what the statistics tell us. Of course, Mark Twain had a theory about statistics.
My bigger point is this – why Easter and not Christmas? Doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Christmas is the “kind” religious holiday. There’s a baby and a manger. You’ve got some cows and donkeys and lambs…a drummer boy and some gifts. It’s angels singing and good will toward men. Christmas is sweater vests and hot chocolate.
Easter? Easter is being forced to wear some ridiculous outfit to go to a place where you don’t know anybody – either a family reunion or church.
Easter is about death. It’s bloody. It’s about sacrificing The Lamb. Easter is about back room deals, betrayal, denials, and late night kangaroo courts and false accusations and three deaths – two deserved, one innocent. Easter is about a weak leader who gave in to injustice.
Christmas is about a mom giving life. Easter is that same mom watching her son be tortured and killed.
Christmas is a warm hug for non-religious people. Easter is a kick in the groin.
Christmas claims there is goodwill towards all men. Easter says I killed Jesus.
Christmas is the story where there are no villains. Easter is the story where we all are villains and only one hero. And he gets crucified.
So why in the world do people come to church on Easter more than Christmas?
There is only one reason.
The resurrection changes everything. It makes Jesus instead of a crazy loon – really God’s Son. Instead of Jesus being this delusional demonic nut job, it proves He is the way, the truth, and the life.
The resurrection turns a denying fraud into a martyr for the cause. The resurrection is the single most important even in the history of history.
The resurrection is THE ONLY reason.
Where do we start? The only reason for Christianity to exists. The only reason for living. The only hope we have. The only reason to believe.
The resurrection is what we celebrate and that’s why people show up.