Easter and America
Easter is celebrated across the world as one of the most significant Christian holy days. It is when Christians pause to remember the great sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as well as the ultimate triumph of His resurrection.
As Noah Webster, author in 1828 of America's first English-language dictionary, affirmed:
A festival of the Christian church observed in commemoration of our Savior's resurrection. It answers to the pascha or Passover of the Hebrews, and most nations still give it this name.
Across the centuries of American history, our leaders have regularly commented on the applicability of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus to various aspects of our daily life.
For example, signer of the Declaration of Independence Charles Carroll viewed Easter as the power for salvation, explaining:
The approaching festival of Easter, and the merits and mercies of our Redeemer copiosa assudeum redemptio have lead me into this chain of meditation and reasoning, and have inspired me with the hope of finding mercy before my Judge, and of being happy in the life to come -- a happiness I wish you to participate with me by infusing into your heart a similar hope.
Benjamin Rush, another signer of the Declaration, pointed out how that Jesus' resurrection not only redeemed man to God but also to each other. He noted:
He forgave the crime of murder on His cross; and after His resurrection, He commanded His disciples to preach the gospel of forgiveness, first at Jerusalem, where He well knew His murderers still resided. These striking facts are recorded for our imitation and seem intended to show that the Son of God died, not only to reconcile God to man but to reconcile men to each other.
President Franklin Roosevelt saw in Easter a clear message for youth. Addressing a group of young people in 1936, he told them:
Yesterday, Christendom celebrated Easter—the anniversary of the Resurrection of Our Lord Who, at the beginning of His ministry was thirty years of age and at His death was only thirty-three. Christianity began with youth, and through the last two thousand years, the spirit of youth repeatedly has revitalized it.
And President Ronald Reagan reminded the nation of the hope that came to Christians through Easter:
Beginning today and culminating on Sunday morning, Christians will celebrate with their families the resurrection of Christ, His victory over death. We will remember that He gave His body and His blood—washing clean the faults and the shortcomings of the world. In our rejoicing we will renew the hope that is ours through the risen Lord.
Easter is indeed a special day! So, from all of us at WallBuilders, Happy Easter
(As you celebrate this day, you may want to take a little time to read this historical Easter sermon from the WallBuilders library.)