“Anything is possible if a person believes.” Sounds like something from a Disney movie, but these are the Words of Jesus as told in the New Testament account of His ministry. Belief is “acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists; trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.” We “can” have faith and trust in Easter, and what is celebrated. It is not the Easter bunny, or spring colors, eggs, or candy.
How or if we celebrate Easter speaks volumes to others about our belief, especially our children. Easter Week is called “Holy Week” in the Christian faith. We look back on the death, burial and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. As our children look back on the Easter celebrations they experienced growing up, what will be remembered? The account of Jesus ministry, death and ultimately His resurrection is given to us in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Tim Lahaye, author of the “Left Behind Series,” wrote a book titled Jesus, Who is He? In speaking of the trust and validity of the New Testament, he writes:
“Sir Frederick Kenyon, one of the leading authorities on the reliability of ancient manuscripts, wrote: ‘The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written now has been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.'”
If our children are asked about Easter, how will they answer? What do they know about their parents’ beliefs of Jesus and the Bible, and the meaning of Easter? Mark Chapter 9 tells us of a father going to Jesus on behalf of his son. This father had exhausted all that he had to try to help his son, all to no avail. The father’s belief, whether Jesus could help, was in question. Likewise, what we believe sets the standard for what we do with Easter. This father would tell us today to not make Jesus the last resort like he did, but rather to seek Him now. I am sure he regretted not going to Jesus sooner.
The encounter between the father and Jesus goes on to include the father asking if Jesus could help his son.
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”Mark 9:23-24 (NLT)
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” The story ends with this report in verse 27: “But Jesus took him (the son) by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.”
I am sure Easter, the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead after his crucifixion and burial, took on valuable meaning for this father and son from that point forward. This is a sweet account of a humbled father wanting what was best for his son and willing to change anything to make that happen, especially his “unbelief.” He wanted to be the best father he could be — and he needed faith in Jesus to be that father. This father interceding for his child changed the outcome of their lives.
Easter had very personal meaning to them in the years ahead and throughout their lifetime. We have Easter to celebrate because He is Risen! Luke 24:6 (NLT): He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee.” Celebrating anything else at Easter is choosing the lesser.