Pastor’s Pen: Is Easter that important?
Every year at this time churches which are normally half full meet their seating capacity and those that are already full find creative ways to allow for more worshipers.
Resurrection Sunday or Easter is one of two highly attended church services. We think of those as holy days which are to be held in esteem above all other days.
But should they?
This past week, while spending much time studying the events and times of the Passion Week of Christ, I was introduced to a concept that intrigued me – the Sabbath. Yes, I knew about the Sabbath. The fourth commandment states, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” But I never realized how truly important THAT day was to the Jew.
If you think of the Sabbath like most of us think of Sunday then you’re probably way off base. It isn’t just another day off work that begins with going to church. It is a day dedicated to the Lord, full of relaxation and an attempt to diminish all possible distractions.
Some rules to help with this may include: not turning on lights, even to the point of removing your refrigerator light bulb for the day; no TV; no grinding coffee; no doing laundry and several prohibit driving cars on the Sabbath.
This day is held with such regard that they begin with a special welcome no later than 18 minutes before sundown on Friday and finish with a sacred goodbye when the first three stars are visible on Saturday night, around 45 minutes after sunset.
The Sabbath is more important than any Jewish holiday or festival.
I found this interesting because it is the opposite of what many of us do as Christ-followers. We consider Christmas and Easter to be more important than a “regular” Sunday.
It would be much easier to skip a regular Sunday than a special Christmas celebration at church.
This is the opposite of the Jewish people.
They’re two different perspective, each with benefits and drawbacks. Paul himself stated in Romans 14, “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike.” He didn’t condemn either. What he did say is this, “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the living and the dead.”
So whether you remember Christ’s death at a Good Friday Service, celebrate His resurrection early Sunday morning or even use Passover to remind your family of the power and salvation of our God; live as though Jesus Christ is the ruler over every holiday and every other day of your life.
A big thanks to Jim Crees for the great e-mail conversation that contributed to this article