Why is Easter Important?

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Crucial (adj.): involving an extremely important decision or result; decisive; critical: a crucial experiment. Synonyms: significant, vital, essential

Crux (n.): a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point: The crux of the trial was his whereabouts at the time of the murder. Synonyms: core, heart, essence

What do these two words share in common? Both were created from the same root word. The same root used in the words cross and crucifixion.

How did these words come to be related? Because those who formed them understood the centrality of the Cross to the Christian faith. They knew the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the hinge point of all history. 

Some people want to follow a Jesus who was a good and wise teacher. They follow his example of love and marvel at his words.

But true believers bank their souls on two wood beams and an empty cave.

Noted atheist Christopher Hitchens understood this. In 2010, Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell interviewed him. At one point she asks:

The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make a distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?”

Hitchens replied:

“I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.”

Saul of Tarsus put it this way in his first letter to the Corinthian church:

“…If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead…If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins…If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…”

Indeed.

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