Engage Church
Engaging God, People, and Culture

For The Culture

Why Everyone Goes to Church on Easter

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
— C.S. Lewis

Easter is one of the most celebrated of the Christian holidays around the world. Every year millions pack into churches and onto pews with pastel colored dresses and big floppy hats. Everyone is dressed in their “Easter Best”. However, for many, Easter Sunday is the only day throughout the year that they choose to attend a church service.

The reason for such a high uptick in attendance on Easter Sunday can be found in the very early beginnings of our nation. From the Puritans who fled to America for religious freedom in the 1500’s to the men who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the idea of the Judeo- Christian God and his principles have traipsed throughout our nation’s history. We have failed in many respects and our nation has since moved away from these principles but nevertheless, the idea of attending church on holidays was not lost; especially on Easter.

Therefore, the question must be asked: What is the main difference between this holiday and others that causes even unbelievers to feel the need to attend church?

The C.S. Lewis quote above really gets to the heart of the difference of Easter. Easter is different because of whom Easter is about: Jesus. Jesus wasn’t merely a man nor was he a lunatic, He is the Son of God. Easter is about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and conquering sin and death so that we may have eternal life with Him. Jesus is so radically different than other religions because He is alive and eternal while so many other gods are buried in the ground here on earth. Jesus is the crux of our faith and the assurance of eternal life. He is the hope upon which Christianity is rooted.

The apostle Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 15

"16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins… 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead.”

This holiday is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead! He is the aspect of our faith that sets us apart from the rest. Our hope in Christ is not for this life only but is for all of eternity. He is the reason our sins are forgiven, and our lives are redeemed. All of Christianity hinges upon this holiday and that importance is what penetrates people’s lives. Even though they might not understand fully what the hope of Jesus represents, Christians and non-Christians alike are drawn towards Whom the hope comes from.

So, this Easter as our church is packed and people join us to celebrate, let us be the best representations of Christ that we can be. As people come, let us show our faith and the hope that is Jesus Christ. May we celebrate in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection and thank God for his never-ending hope.

Happy Easter!

Ashley Ervin