Easter is unique among holidays in several ways. One of them is that the holiday really is more than one day. It is a "two part" holiday that starts on Good Friday and completes on Easter. You really need Good Friday to appreciate Easter. In a way, the Easter celebration is a mirror. Good Friday reflects much that is the worst about man and Easter mirrors much of what is the best about God (and it's all good). Good Friday shows what man is capable of, to the point of putting to death the very One who gave us life. Easter shows what God has done, giving life to One wrongly killed and then giving new lilfe to those who even killed Him. Good Friday shows that God will not be outwitted, outmaneuvered or outdone. He took Satan's worst shot, delivered through deceived men, and turned that blow completely around to become the necessary payment to redeem us. Satan's strategy boomeranged and the death blow became the life force that opened the gateway for all men to accept...that leads to Heaven and that conquers the worst that Satan can muster here on earth.
We don't see the big "build-up" for Easter that we do for Christmas. The world doesn't like to be reminded that it put the God of the Universe on a cross to suffer and die. That is as much a part of history as the babe in a manger. We don't hear many radio stations dedicating days of broadcast time to Easter music. For some reason we choose to give gifts at Christmas rather than Easter when the greatest gift was made of all time. We don't like to face the mirrors of Good Friday and Easter because there is no othe explanation for this holiday other than our sin and our need for a savior. But if Jesus could do the "heavy lifting" of our sin on the cross on Good Friday then we ought to face the mirror, acknowledge our need and go on to receive the hope of Easter...a hope we could never give ourselves.
John 20:11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 "Dear woman, why are you crying?" the angels asked her.
"Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I don't know where they have put him."
14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize him. 15 "Dear woman, why are you crying?" Jesus asked her. "Who are you looking for?"
She thought he was the gardener. "Sir," she said, "if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him."
16 "Mary!" Jesus said.
blessings (now let us... each and all... rise again, in His name),