Billions of dollars are spent to celebrate Easter.
Nearly 90 percent of Americans will buy Easter candy this year. More than 60 percent will buy Easter gifts. Almost 40 percent will buy Easter flowers, according to the National Retail Association. Considering those and other categories, Americans will spend $18.4 billion this year to celebrate Easter, the organization learned in a survey.
WOW! People really like to celebrate Easter.
I asked myself the question, “How did Easter come about?” I know that it’s considered a holiday and that it often involves a traditional church service with a message of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. According to snopes.com and other websites, the name for the holiday comes from much older times with customs we may not be familiar with. Many old religions had a Spring Goddess who lived in what is now Germany and knew her as Eastre.
After Constantine decided to Christianize the Empire, Easter was changed to represent Jesus. But at its roots, Easter is a Pagan holiday. .
As I began to reflect on this, I thought to myself, “There is a difference between Easter Sunday and Resurrection Sunday.” Some people go to church to celebrate Easter, but I wonder how many are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Truth be told, at one time in my life, I didn’t know the difference between Easter Sunday and Resurrection Sunday, and I was a PK (preacher’s kid). Growing up, I knew that Jesus Christ gave His life for me and that He rose from the grave for me, but I really didn’t know the price He paid for me. He paid for my sins, the suffering and the pain, He endured for me. He paid a debt that He did not owe, and I had a debt that I could not pay.
As I grew as a Christian and continued on this beautiful journey of having a relationship with Christ, the “Messiah,” I came to know the difference. I began to teach my children about Resurrection Sunday and now they explain it to my grandchildren.
As we prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday, we need to know what we are celebrating and who we are celebrating, because it truly makes a difference. As Christians, we should be celebrating the one and only true and living God, and understand that Jesus came to Earth and died for our sins so that we may have eternal and abundant life.
One day out of the year, billions of dollars are spent. One day, Jesus came and gave everything He had. He paid the ultimate price, and it didn’t cost us a dime. Isn’t that good news?
Yes, there is a difference, Happy Resurrection Sunday!
Stephy Nobles-Beans is the assistant pastor at the Church of Berachah at 25th Avenue and Grand Boulevard in Spokane. She also is the coordinator of diversity, equity and inclusion campus ministries at Whitworth University.
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