Luke 23: 44 - 49 (NIV): 44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. 47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Why is Easter such an important holiday to Christians? It is our highest holy day. Church attendance soars. People dress up and the ladies wear big hats. Some get up really early and go to sunrise services. Why? Why is Easter such a bid deal?
Notice in the passage above that the curtain in the temple tore in two. This happened while Jesus was on the cross. It was God's way of showing us that we can now enter into God's presence. Jesus paid for our sins. Now its up to us to accept his gift of salvation. Now, we can trade our lives for his. There would be no Easter without the death of Jesus.
The second reason Easter is so important is because it represents when Jesus conquered death. Death is the enemy of mankind and Jesus defeated it. Now we have nothing to fear. Yes, the separation of death is painful, but it is tempered with hope for those who are in Christ. When Jesus came back to life he showed that he has supernatural power. When we realize that God is supernatural, we understand the miracle of creation and we have hope that God will work in miraculous ways in our lives.
The third reason Easter is so important is because Jesus proved who he was when he came back from the dead. He had made bold claims. He had claimed to be God in the flesh. As C. S. Lewis said, Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic -- or he was Lord of all and we must fall at his feet and worship him. When Jesus rose again he proved who he claimed to be. He proved that everything he had ever said was true. Easter is a big deal. A very big deal.