Lesson 5 – Intro – April 18 – April 25 The Ultimate Sacrifice of Love

When did you first hear the Easter Story? That is, the real story behind the holiday? For many, Easter is more about bunnies and flowers, eggs and spring time than it is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In some ways, it might be clearer for us to call the celebration “Resurrection Day.” The truth is, however, the Easter story is not complete without focusing clearly on the cruelties, accusations, brutality, and finally the death of a criminal that Jesus experienced because of His great love for mankind.

Believers have always celebrated these amazing events, but it was not until 325 A.D. that the Council of Nicea established the moveable date. They determined that Resurrection Day, Easter, would be the first Sunday after the full moon following the March equinox (March 20) as determined by the Gregorian calendar. This means that in Western Christianity, it always falls between March 22 and April 25. (Orthodox or Eastern Christians use the Julian calendar.) Just as the Jewish nation has, for centuries, celebrated annually the Passover, their incredible journey from bondage in Egypt to freedom, so people around the world observe each year the events that made bondage from sin and death to a life of freedom in Jesus Christ a reality.

While many choose to celebrate this amazing love and miracle by attending church or following other traditions just once a year, it is an event that is far more reaching than a superficial acknowledgement of the historical event. To receive this love and forgiveness personally changes everything, every day, in every way. When and how do you celebrate The Resurrection?

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