For nominal or devout Christians, Easter is the most significant holiday of the year. Some prepare by sacrificing food, electronics or soft drinks. These may sound trivial but they point to the energy we spend trying to honor the One who created the most miraculous event in human history. It is the event that turned the world upside down but one which many people – particularly millennials – struggle to believe.
It’s easy to see why. We parents have taken our children to mass or church, telling them Bible stories and teaching them prayers, but have fallen short on impressing upon them the truth of Easter. We haven’t taught them apologetics and the historical evidence that Jesus was not just a good, smart guy – he was God. Instead, we have focused on communicating our personal experiences and for our children trying to choose or reject God, these aren’t enough. They want to know how we know that Easter really occurred.
We parents have taken our children to mass or church, telling them Bible stories and teaching them prayers, but have fallen short on impressing upon them the truth of Easter.
So, we must tell them. Hundreds of scholars have found evidence that Christ did indeed live and that He died by crucifixion. But then the serious questions come. Did he really rise from the dead and if so, what difference does that make? And if he rose from the dead, was God just showing the Jews that He could do miracles or was something else going on?
We Christians believe that God Himself was on the cross. Other faiths believe that Jesus was not God but a good prophet who taught humans many good life lessons. That’s the dividing issue for Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other Eastern religions. There is good biblical evidence that Jesus was, in fact, God – but that is a longer discussion. It is, however, one which every Christian parent must delve into because our children will need to know. That’s what millennials are telling us. If we can’t defend our faith, I don’t blame them for being skeptical or walking away. Faith centering on feelings is pretty superficial. We see that all around us. Many Christians (particularly evangelical) are quick to talk about Jesus, relay their personal transformation and hope others believe. The problem is that many of those same people walk away and act like jerks. That’s one more reason Millennials are skeptical. If we Christians really believe that Easter is the lynchpin of our faith, shouldn’t our behavior show it?
If we can’t defend our faith, I don’t blame millennials for being skeptical or walking away.
This Easter I implore professing Christians to do some soul searching. Rather than give lip service to Easter, let us take dig deeper so that we can articulate the external, not just personal Truth of it. For if we can’t describe why we believe that Jesus was God Himself, we may not really believe. If our faith is simply an experience, then we can be talked out of it pretty quickly. I submit that if we don’t really believe that Christ was God Himself, that He rose from the dead to illuminate to every human what real, profound love is, then we might as well skip Easter. Or, at least be honest enough to eat colored malted milk balls, Chickadee peeps and call it a nice family day.
If we Christians really believe that Easter is the lynchpin of our faith, shouldn’t our behavior show it?
Don’t miss what is really happening here. There is a plethora of historical and biblical evidence that Jesus lived, was crucified and rose from the dead. And – that He was God. If we can aptly communicate this to our children, they might ask another question: who cares? That is where Easter comes in. We care not only because we want to live with truth, but because there is no more life changing or significant Truth to all humans. This is what our kids want to know.