Commentary: We need Easter!


 In June of last year, physicians in Ecuador declared Bella Montoya dead, but as family members gathered for her wake, she suddenly showed signs of life as she rested in her coffin.

Four months earlier, workers at a Long Island nursing home pronounced an 82-year-old woman dead, but three hours later, funeral home staff discovered she was still alive and breathing.

“Waking up dead in your coffin is vanishingly rare,” Dr. Stephen Hughes of Anglia Ruskin University School of Medicine, told NPR, “but it does happen sometimes.”

Wouldn’t that be something, to wake up in your coffin and discover you were still alive!?

Easter is the day death died. If the Jerusalem Times ran obituaries, the passing of death’s sting would have been listed in the next day’s edition. Easter is the day life erupted from the depths of a grave. Easter is the day God’s Son arose, giving inspiration to a world of desperation.

Make no mistake about it. Jesus died. Crucifixion was designed to execute the victim in a slow, torturous, suffering-filled march to the last breath. The soldiers didn’t have to break the legs of Jesus because they saw He had already passed (John 19:32-33). When He was wrapped in grave cloths, and placed in that tomb on Friday, He was dead.

He wasn’t passed out. He wasn’t comatose. He was dead.

However, as they say, then came Sunday! Jesus burst from that tomb, conquering death and pointing all of creation to new beginnings and eternal life. The heavenly messengers announced to the grieving women who came to the tomb, “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.”

Easter can’t come soon enough. Oh, how we need Easter! Buds are popping, pollen is filling the air, and flowers are pushing through the last remnants of winter. In the midst of frilly dresses, lilies and bonnets, the singing birds proclaim, “It’s time to celebrate the Son-rise!”

And celebrate we will.

Easter is a burst of light breaking through the cloud cover of gloominess and anguish. It is God’s signpost pointing to heaven. It’s the high-water mark in the exuberant Christian experience. It’s the pinnacle of hope that breaks through our despair and light that banishes our darkness.

We need Easter. Easter proclaims God is not mad at us anymore for falling short. Easter tells us God loves us deeply and through Christ we can get right with God and make peace with God.

Easter reveals Jesus WAS more than just a man, that heaven came down as God wrapped in flesh, walking with us and giving us insight into God Himself. It is placing His Son on a cross to die in our place so we can know true forgiveness.

Easter is the silver lining in the Christian’s cloud. It is calmness in the storm, God’s assurance, that if we have a personal relationship with Jesus, we will one day take our place in heaven, and we will see our loved ones again. It is the challenge to commit ourselves afresh to our relationship with Jesus. It is a glorious day prompting us to remember Jesus lives, He cares, He loves, and He transforms our lives when we submit to His authority.

Easter proves the heaviest stones can be rolled away from the graves in our lives. Easter says all things are possible with God. Easter shows that God is able. If He can raise His Son from the dead, then He can supernaturally empower our daily lives. If He can conquer death (and He did!), then He can handle the problems we face every day.

Easter reminds us God is with us, and God is for us. He’s always looking out for our best and always working to bring good out of bad.

Easter declares death should not be feared, for death is not final and the best is just ahead. For the believer, death is simply the gateway from life in this world to everlasting life. The grand finale of the beautiful Easter story is the opportunity we’re given to respond to the invitation the resurrected Lord extends to our life.

Because Jesus walked out of that tomb and lives today, we, too, can live eternally if we know Jesus. We need Easter because we need the risen Lord!


David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, GA. Worship online at See more of Chancey’s writings at