Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ who is from the small town of Nazareth in Israel. So much of that is foreign to so many people. It is especially unusual to those that are not from America, although it is still relatively new to North America compared to other societies. Recently, I was chatting with a local friend that just got back from a trip to Japan. He had met a guy over there in a coffee shop. The man asked why he was in Japan. When my friend told him it was because of Jesus Christ, the man, had no idea who that was, had never heard of Him, did not know how that related to their current conversation,and the only word that he did finally understand was religion.
Most people in the world have not heard a proper explanation for Jesus Christ and millions have never even heard of Him at all. Obviously, most people do not believe people can be raised from the dead. It seems preposterous and childish to speak of that notion. So, to hear of some Israeli from thousands of years ago that came from an extremely poor family and claimed to come back to life several days after death, what an insignificant fairy tale! Even the greatest patron of Jesus Christ within His generation, the Apostle Paul of Tarsus, claimed that if all these details about Jesus Christ were not true, then those that believe in all of it should be the most pitied people on the planet [1 Corinthians 15:19].
This same person, Paul, who had been victimizing Christ followers, eventually became a believer. Years later after his transformation, he wrote a letter to Christ followers in Corinth [Greece]. A few sentences before claiming Christ followers are the sorriest people on the planet if it is all not true, he also states that after the resurrection of Jesus Christ over 500 people saw Him at one time and most of those individuals were still alive as he wrote that letter [1 Corinthians 15:6]. He is asserting that looking into the details of this man Jesus Christ is worth it. Paul reveals in other literature that we have on record that his entire lifestyle and eternity depended on these claims. That is pretty bold coming from a guy that used to travel hundreds of miles before the age of the automobile just to grab men or women by the shirt and pull them out of their houses to terrorize them for believing in Jesus Christ [Acts 8; 9:1-2].
Nowhere is it recorded that Jesus Christ expected or commanded that a holiday be established for Him. The Christ followers initiated it over time. They wanted to remember. They wanted to remind themselves that they bet their entire eternal existence, by faith, on these claims. It is evident they trust it. They believe it more than all the other evidence to point in a different direction with alternative declarations.
Easter encapsulates a moment of the year that occurs in the spring, most likely around the time Jesus Christ died and resurrected, when His followers reflect on this Individual and the most significant event of His life. It is a time where the followers invite others to reason with them and pay attention, maybe for the first time, to the evidence that points in Christ’s direction. They want to declare the hope they have in Christ back to Christ and to the world out of gratitude and joy.
City of Refuge will celebrate Jesus Christ, and His resurrection April 21 at 10 am at Rockland Recreational Park. We invite you to join. Learn with us about that Man and the great things He has done for us. If this is all a sham, then there is no purpose in this life or the life to come. If it is true what He has done and who He claimed to be, there is powerful hope in Him now and forever! We would love for you to gather with us to celebrate.