‘The Four Cardinal Reasons for Easter Celebration’ by Pastor Joshua Ayodele Gbolahan


Pastor J.A. Gbolahan

Text: 1 Cor. 15:3-8


The Christians celebration of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ called Easter should be a foremost celebration among the believing population. It ranks highest of all the celebrations because without the atonement (at-one-ment) of Christ our economy of salvation will be futile. The Christ birth celebration will be meaningless without the gory arrest at Gethsemane, gruesome and gloomy experience on the Calvary and the glorious resurrection on the third day. On the fortieth day after His glorious resurrection from the grave, He ascended on high from the very eyes of the disciples with the promise of His return.

The Gospel (Go Over every Space Preaching Eternal Life) hinges on the historic fact of the Easter celebrations. The Apostle Paul summarizes the importance of Christ resurrection to our salvation and missionary enterprise in 1 Cor. 15:14-15. “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up- if in fact the dead do not rise”. Thus, there are four important events that make the Easter celebration worthwhile.

1.      Christ Died For Our Sins!

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3). The death of Christ for our sins was not just an ordinary one, He didn’t die from His sleep, slumped, sickness or from any as rumored by the conspiracy theorists.

Jesus suffered greatly and died gruesomely for humanity and entered into glory for our salvation to be perfected (Lk. 24: 26-46). His suffering and death was according to the will of God, prophesied by the prophets many centuries before it did happen (1 Pet. 1:10-11). If Jesus had prayed off that the cup of suffering pass Him over in the garden of Gethsemane, he wouldn’t have suffered and died and we will still remain in our sins. All that prophet Isaiah saw and said in Isaiah chapter 53 were all fulfilled in the last week of Jesus’ sojourn on earth. “But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled” (Acts 3:18). Hence, He died for our sins according to the scripture.

Suffering is one of the major themes of the Bible, we are not immune from suffering as believers. At one point or the other and varying degrees we would suffer with and for Christ. When the apostles of the Lamb were beaten by the council for preaching the resurrected Christ, they rejoiced for suffering shame for His name (Acts 5:41). If we suffered with Him, we will reign with Him in glory. Are you willing to follow in His footstep? But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Heb 2:9)

2.      Christ Was Buried!

The Apostle Matthew recorded the proceedings of Jesus’ burial after His death in fulfillment of the scriptures.

“Now when evening had come, there came a rich men from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed” (Matt 27:57-60)

Jesus was brutally murdered by the hands of sinners and crucified among the wicked but his burial was with the rich according to the scripture. “And they made His grave with the wicked- but with the rich at His death, because he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth” (Is.. 53:9)

God can use anybody to carry out His God given purpose and plan on earth provided s/he cleanses himself/herself, be made available and useful for the Master. God used Joseph of Arimathea, a man of means to fulfill God’s agenda in Jesus’ burial culminating to the Easter celebration.

The scripture also recorded a woman who broke her alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil and poured it on Jesus head. What the disciples regarded as a waste, Jesus counted it as a good work for Himself and for His burial. God used this woman’s expensive fragrant oil which only the rich could afford for Jesus’ pre- burial because there may not be time to do it again. When Mary Magdalene and other women came on the first day of the week (resurrection morning) with spices to anoint Jesus, they found out Jesus was no more in the grave. Whatever he has called you to do or placed in your heart do it now. Are you called to go, groan or give? Do it now to the glory and excellency of His name. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might”, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Eccl.9:10)

3.      Christ Rose Again!

The third cardinal reason for Easter celebration is Christ’s resurrection. He is no longer in the grave, hallelujah!  “…and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:4). Death could not hold him bound, “O death, where is your sting? O Hades where is your victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55). David the king and prophet said of the Lord that, “For you will not leave my soul in sheol,” Nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption (Ps 16:10). Our hope of eternal life is in the risen Lord. If Christ did not rise from death and the grave, we most pitiable because our gathering as a church is  no more than a club, cult, charity organization. He lives forever, we shall all live forever. “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11 cf. Jn. 11:25). See Matt. 27:52

4.      Christ Is Coming Back!

Forty days after Christ resurrected, he ascended on high from the very faces of his disciples. Two angels announced to them that Jesus will return in the same token He ascended.

“Now when He had spoken these things while they watched, He was taken up, and a Cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts. 1:9-11)

Jesus was caught up in the cloud while His disciples watched. He will return with clouds with the host of His angels and saints who would have been raptured prior to His second coming. (Matt. 24:30-37). The Apostle Paul re-echoed this truth in 1 Thess. 4:15-17. His soon second coming will be preceded by the rapture of the church. Are you ready and prepared for this.


Easter celebration is a reflection period on the truth of the gospel which primarily hangs on Christ’s suffering and death for our sins, burial, resurrection and His soon coming. This celebration should make us thankful and appreciative of Christ’s Sacrifice for our sin and in turn make ourselves living sacrifices unto God, spread and advance the gospel of the Kingdom as His witnesses and prepare for His soon coming.


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