October 14, 2019
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Should Christians Celebrate Easter? Should They Practice Lent?


Well I’ve done a video on Lent, but I
wanted to do another video on this subject because I got a lot of pushback
quite frankly when I did a video on Lent. And so I thought I’d broach the
question about Easter celebrations in general. If you’re familiar with church
history, you’re probably well aware of the fact that the Feast of Christ’s
resurrection was celebrated. It was celebrated by the Apostles and their
disciples. In fact, every Lord’s Day – every Lord’s Day. It’s a celebration of
resurrection. So the question you have to ask yourself is what about preparation?
And when you answer that question you get to Lent, because Lent is just that. It’s preparation, its penitential purification and preparation for the
Feast of Christ’s resurrection. Here’s the truth: you and I have to choose. We have to choose to live our lives in secular
fashion, or choose to revolve our calendars around that which is sacred.
Ironically, preparation, discipline ultimately lead to freedom. I mean just
think of a musician. A musician is free to make beautiful music,
but arriving at the destination of that freedom – wow, that requires a tremendous
amount of practice, and that’s the way it is with spiritual disciplines,
including the disciplines exercised during Lent, so that in freedom you and I
can enjoy the full orbed experience of Resurrection in the present. And while
Christmas is commonly regarded as the highlight of the Christian calendar, it
is Easter that deserves our utmost consideration because without the
resurrection of Jesus, there’s little point in discussing his birth.
If Christ hasn’t been raised, said Paul, our preaching is useless,
so your faith. And therefore, the body of Christ
annually initiates a resurrection celebration on clean Monday in the East
or Ash Wednesday in the West. And thereafter, Christians engage in 40 days
of Lent, and that culminates in Holy Week. The first day of Great Lent initiates a
spirit of repentance and forgiveness, and as the Orthodox love to sing, “the
springtime of the fast has dawned and the flower of repentance has begun to
open up .” Or begun to flower, or blossom. Western Christians in turn, of course, inaugurate the day of ashes by making their foreheads really a sign of the
Cross. And Daniel did that. He turned to the Lord God, pleading with him in prayer
and petition and fasting in sackcloth and ashes. It was a biblical precedent here. He did that very thing. And he did that for a purpose, a penitential purpose – a
preparation purpose. And there’s more, because during Easter, Christians
celebrate the Great Lent itself. This is 40 days, not including the Lord’s
day, on which the glorious resurrection of course is remembered, 40 days during
which there is a rekindled devotion to the principles of the kingdom. And that
includes prayer and fasting and almsgiving in the ascetic practices
repentance leading to forgiveness and to recommitment to loving the Lord our God
with all our heart and our mind and loving our neighbor as ourselves, and all
of this together is but preparation for the Feast of Christ’s resurrection which
in turn is emblematic of our being raised with him in newness of life on
the day of his second appearance. So this is preparation for something – forty days.
I mean you’re taking a long time but you’re preparing for the ultimate
event in your existence. I’ll make one more point, and that is Easter is the
commemoration of Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday which memorializes
something very important. It is Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Monday – Thursday Christians pray. They partake of
communion, and they even wash one another’s feet and humble obedience to
the command of Jesus Christ who said, “As I love you, so you have to love one
another.” Good Friday, well it’s a time of somber reflection on
Christ’s death and burial. It’s a remembrance that our Lord
suffered on the cross more than any human, more than the cumulative
sufferings of all of humanity. Why? So that we might experience life to the
full. And on Saturday evening, or early Sunday morning, Christians around the
world – they gather in glorious certainty that as the Sun dawns in the East, so the
Son of Glory has risen from the dead. Easter traditionally culminates with
this glorious congregational feast in joyous expectation of the wedding supper
of the Lamb. There’s no wedding without a bridegroom. No redemption apart from the risen Redeemer, and by the way no renewal of the cosmos apart from
resurrection. And blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the
Lamb. We read that in Revelation chapter 19,
and I hope it’s a reminder that we have been invited to a glorious celebration.
But there’s preparation for the celebration. That preparation will make
the celebration – the occasion – all the more joyous and glorious. If you can’t
celebrate resurrection, pray tell, what can you celebrate?

Otis Rodgers

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Cynthia Ejiogu Posted on February 16, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Who the heck thinks Lent shouldn’t be followed? Really people?! A real Christian lives Lent to Lent! It’s a time of life that will bring you back to the center of the faith! Read the Bible people!

    Reply
  2. cellmate1 Posted on March 27, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    But if He was not born, He could not be killed and resurrected. Christmas and Easter in my eyes are equal!! Book ends, if you will

    Reply
  3. Justin Wishart Posted on March 23, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    The "Bible Answer Man" gives no biblical justification for the "Christian" calendar. Perhaps he should change his name to the Tradition Answer Man. I see nothing in Scripture to justify church imposed celebrations except for baptism and communion. In fact, it seems to clearly contradict Christian freedom as expressed by Paul. Fasting is a good thing but routine communal fasting (Lent) is not expressed in Scripture nor deduced from Scripture. Thus, churches that partake in things like Lent or Easter is a rejection of the Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura. It is a contradiction of the Reformation itself.

    Reply
  4. dimitri Triantafyllides Posted on March 26, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Beautifully said Hank. May we keep our oil lamps full in anticipation of the Bridegroom.

    Reply
  5. Eisho G Posted on April 19, 2019 at 7:22 am

    You know what's sad, a Christian caller was on some Christian radio. The topic was about Lent. And quoted "We don't need to fast, because everything was completed on the Cross".
    What about when Jesus said his disciples "will" fast once He has left them.

    Reply
  6. Sami Foluma Posted on April 21, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    What has eggs and bunnies got to do with Christ resurrection?

    Reply
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