Easter is one of the most highly anticipated religious holidays of the year. People spend countless hours preparing decorations, baskets, and all of the other colorful aspects of this special day on the calendar. Yet, in all of their haste to provide the perfect program for young and old alike, more focus is placed on entertaining the crowd than worshiping the King.

For the second year in a row, Easter services will look different at many churches around the globe. Due to the global pandemic, many regions continue to prohibit large gatherings. Consequently, some bodies of believers will find themselves sitting in their living rooms on Easter Sunday, watching a modified live service via the Internet or television. While some people have grown accustomed to this temporary way of attending worship services, others greatly miss the fellowship of being with other Christians.

Conversely, some churches are planning to reopen, just in time for Easter Sunday. From Easter egg hunts to elaborate productions, some religious organizations are sparing no expense to ensure this Easter is bigger and better than ever. While many Christians are wide-eyed with excitement concerning the upcoming Easter festivities, there is one critical fact often overshadowed by all of this fanfare.

Easter is actually a secular holiday. The name Easter is derived from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and fertility. The presence of plastic Easter eggs and plush bunnies represent the characteristics of this pagan entity. This is why some protestant Christians, such as the Lutherans and Quakers, have determined not to celebrate Easter, but only recognize the Resurrection of Christ. Likewise, we should not be celebrating Easter, but instead, glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ on this upcoming Resurrection Sunday.

Jesus Christ did not give His life on a cross so we could celebrate a holiday known as Easter. Nor did He suffer and die so we could buy a new Easter outfit, eat chocolate-shaped bunnies, or dye hard-boiled eggs. None of these things has anything to do with the King of kings and Lord of lords.

God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for the forgiveness of our sins. Romans 3:23 (NLT) says, "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard." God knew it would take a perfect sacrifice to provide atonement for our sins. Jesus shed His blood for our salvation. He gave His life because of love (1 John 3:16). God’s plan for redemption was designed “before the creation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:20 NIV). As my dad wrote, “The fall of man and cross of redemption were not part of an alternative plan. The cross was God's original plan.”1

Jesus Christ is not hanging on the cross nor is He in the borrowed tomb. On the third day, He rose again. He lives forevermore! His death and resurrection have provided a way for us to receive the gift of eternal life. Because of God's grace and mercy, we can live eternally with Him in Heaven, if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Unlike some people and organizations who might let you down, the Lord will never fail you. Romans 8:34 (NIV) says, "Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Our Lord and Savior is praying for us. He loves us more than we could ever imagine.

Surely, we should be exclusively honoring the true and risen Savior, Jesus Christ, on Resurrection Sunday, as opposed to spending time with the fictional Easter Bunny. Jesus is our closest friend (Prov. 18:24) and our constant companion (Matt. 28:20). He is the Son of the only living God. Let us worship His holy name, not just at church on Sunday, but every day of the year. He deserves all of our thanksgiving and all of our praise.

As we move closer to this important day, I encourage you to pray and seek God's will for you and your family, concerning how you should celebrate this special season. Rather than anticipating the secular aspects of Easter, may we all keep our eyes on Jesus Christ. Instead of turning toward the world, let us look "unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2 KJV).

1. Ken Campbell, “R U Ready?,” Christ Will Return Ministries, http://www.christwillreturn.org/ruready.htm.