But Easter is much more than bunnies, colored eggs and chocolate. As talk show host Glen Beck said, “Easter is actually the greatest love story ever told.”
Easter is the most important date on the Christian calendar. Every other religious festival, including Christmas, is of secondary importance in comparison to the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.
This was firmly established in the year 325 A.D. by the Council of Nicaea and Roman Emperor Constantine. Through Christ’s Resurrection we have the promise of new life. Without the Resurrection there would be no Christian faith. The crucifixion of Jesus on what is now called Good Friday, is proof of His love for us as written on John 3:16. His resurrection is proof of His divinity! Easter is the fulfillment of our faith as Christians.
The very first Easter weekend took place more than 2,000 years ago. It was three days that changed the world forever. We date our calendars around this central point in human history with “B.C. and A.D.”
Historians, scholars and theologians agree that Jesus has had a more positive impact on history than any other person.
This is illustrated by a few lines from the 1926 poem by Dr. James Allan:
“He never wrote a book, He never held an office, He never went to college, He never visited a big city, He never travelled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born, He did none of the things usually associated with greatness, He had no credentials but himself. Centuries have come and gone, and today Jesus is the central figure of the human race, and the leader of mankind's progress, All the armies that have ever marched, All the navies that have ever sailed, All the parliaments that have ever sat, All the kings that ever reigned put together, have not affected the life of mankind on earth as powerfully as that one solitary life.”
Historian Philip Schaff agreed with Dr. Allan when he described the overwhelming influence which Jesus has had on human history and culture in the world.
"This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed and Napoleon; without science ... He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times."
The writings of French conquerer Napoleon Bonaparte reveal what he thought of Jesus:
"You speak of Caesar, of Alexander, of their conquests and of the enthusiasm which they enkindled in the hearts of their soldiers; but can you conceive of a dead man making conquests, with an army faithful and entirely devoted to his memory? My armies have forgotten me even while living, as the Carthaginian army forgot Hannibal. I know men and I tell you, Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison.”
Bradley County is known as a community of faith. As we gather in our places of worship on Easter Sunday, take a moment to reflect upon the empty tomb and the impact that this “One Solitary Life” has had upon you, your family and your community.