What Is Easter Sunday and Why Is it the Most Important Christian Holiday?

He was crucified and rose three days later. The day that He rose is called Easter Sunday. In the Bible, there is a reference to Easter in Acts 12:4. 

Contributing Writer
Mar 23, 2021
What Is Easter Sunday and Why Is it the Most Important Christian Holiday?

What Is Easter Sunday?

Next to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Easter Sunday is the most important holiday in Christendom. What is Easter Sunday? Easter Sunday is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was crucified and rose three days later. The day that He rose is called Easter Sunday. In the Bible, there is a reference to Easter in 

Acts 12:4. Here Peter is arrested and there is mention that after Easter, he would be brought forth to the people. So, we know that is a day that was celebrated as Easter. The day and the date that we celebrate Easter was determined in the 7thcentury. Easter is celebrated “on the Sunday following the 14th day of the calendar moon. This comes on or after the vernal equinox fixed for March 21.”

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Why Do We Celebrate Easter Sunday?

We celebrate Easter because it is a part of the redemptive plan of mankind. It is cause for celebration because the rising of Jesus proves to man that He is the Son of God. The power of the Holy Ghost caused Jesus to rise, and the Comforter or Holy Ghost is now here to assist us.

So, we take confidence because we have the same power working in us that raised Jesus from the dead.

Since Jesus was crucified, He became the sacrificial Lamb for mankind. That is why we can plead the blood to the devil whenever we are in trouble, sick, or in need of rescue. The enemy is afraid of the blood because he knows it is the blood of Christ and the only way mankind can avoid hell. The crucifixion is significant because God sent His Son as a ransom for our sins. The enemy is quite familiar with the Son of God who is a part of the Trinity. The devil was once in Heaven until he was kicked out.

In the book of Luke, God sent Gabriel to Nazareth in Galilee to announce Jesus’ birth to Mary (Luke 1:27-33). The birth of the Savior was foretold in Isaiah 7:14. “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Where Can We Find the Story of Easter in the Bible?

In the Bible, the story of Easter is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We can start with Him being betrayed by one of His disciples. In Matthew 26:2. The Lord said, “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” The story of Easter began long before the actual crucifixion of Jesus. He came to earth with the crucifixion in mind.

As you continue to read Matthew 26, you will see how chief priests, scribes, and elders plot to kill Jesus.

The crucifixion was not an easy task for Jesus. He knew that it was necessary to redeem mankind. Nevertheless, He struggled with what lied ahead. Read Matthew 26:36-56 to find out more of Jesus’ struggled with this task before He is apprehended. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked the disciples to sit and watch while He goes to pray. This was a heavy burden for Jesus because he was days away from the crucifixion. If you research the crucifixion, you will see that before a person is nailed on the cross, they are flogged. The process of flogging tears flesh from the skin. They placed a crown of thrones on Jesus and mocked Him, saying, Hail King of Jews. Normally, the person to be crucified carries their own cross. In Mark 15, we see Simon, a Cyrenian passing by, was told to bear Jesus’s cross.

Jesus was nailed to the cross. They labeled Him King of the Jews. He hung on the cross between two thieves. One thief asked Jesus, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us” (Luke 23:39-43). The other thief rebuked him saying that they received the correct punishment for their sin, but Jesus had done nothing. He did ask Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” He died and gave up the ghost.

Throughout the Gospels, the crucifixion is depicted. You can see this in Matthew 27-28; Mark 15 and 16; Luke 23 and 24, and John 19 and 20. You also see the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in these scriptures as well. Many churches now refer to Easter as Resurrection Sunday. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ baffled many non-believers in that day. Because He was resurrected many then believed that He was the Christ.

Right before Jesus was taken down from the cross, a soldier pierced Him in the side. Blood and water came out of Him (John 19:34). Since He was already dead, His legs were not broken; thus fulfilling Scripture that a bone of Him shall not be broken.

Jesus had taken the form of a human. So, He felt all the pain associated with the process. Even though He was the Son of God, He was not spared from this process. “Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law. He was made a curse for us. Scripture tells us: Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:22). So the process of the crucifixion was abhorred by the Jews.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us victory. We are now joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Gentiles were now able to receive salvation. We are so fortunate as a generation that God has allowed the story of the crucifixion to be told in film and television. The Passion of the Christ is a good depiction of the crucifixion and Resurrection.

Why Is it the Most Important Holiday for Christians?

This is indeed a high holy day for Christians because Jesus died for us so that we might live. Every human goes somewhere when they leave this earth. We will all live forever somewhere. For Christians, we will live for eternity in Heaven. That is why it is so important to witness to others who do not know Christ. We can rejoice when a Christian transitions from this life unto the next because Jesus died for us.

God values us so much as His children that He allowed His Son to walk and minister among us. He allowed Him to be ridiculed and betrayed. He allowed Him to die a shameful death on a cross. He allowed the temptation of Jesus Christ. He allowed Jesus to suffer many things. Through all of that suffering, we do not have to worry about a hell that was created for Satan and his fallen angels. We do not have to worry about a lake of fire. We can be assured that our names will be found in the Book of Life. We do not have to be condemned for life when we missed the mark. We can go to God in prayer to obtain grace and mercy to help in a time of need. If we keep His commandments and keep a heart of repentance, we shall live with Him for eternity.

Further Reading

What Is Easter: Understanding the History and Symbols

What Is the True Meaning of Easter? Why Is it Celebrated?

What Is the Meaning of Easter and Why Do We Celebrate It?

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/leolintang

Dr. Sandra SmithDr. Sandra Hamer Smith is a Christian and wife to Sylvester Smith. She has one stepson, Greg. Smith lives and resides in Memphis, Tennessee. The University of Memphis alumnae has been in education for about 20 years after receiving the call to teach. Dr. Smith primarily teaches language arts. Prior to education, she worked in local and national television news for 13 years including positions as an overnight news anchor, reporter, and assignments editor at two local network affiliate stations. Smith was also a freelance correspondent for BET news. Dr. Smith has freelanced for the Tri-State Defender newspaper and Contempora magazine.  She is the author of the self-published novel GLORY…THE HAIR.  Smith is also a playwright and poet. The Tennessee native is a member of Temple of Deliverance COGIC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, Omicron Delta Kappa, The Golden Key International Honour Society, and Kappa Delta Pi.


Learn more about the meaning and significance behind the Easter holiday and Holy Week celebrations:

What is Palm Sunday?
What is Maundy Thursday?
What is Good Friday?
What is Holy Saturday?
What is Easter?

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