Christmas and Easter are the bookends to the story of Jesus, which, to many, is the essence of the whole Bible. Christmas initiates the story with a proclamation of good news directed to all people (Luke 2:10). Then, Easter represents the conclusion, with its great emphasis on the miracle of the resurrection. The physical resurrection of Christ is upheld as the evidence of His victory over death which then ensures our own physical body resurrection sometime in the future. In some vague sense this future resurrection is connected with our being reunited with God and loved ones who have gone on before us.
Whereas the message of Christmas is decidedly universal in nature, when we get to the celebration of Easter, the message is very limited indeed. If you want to relish the hope of the resurrection and the joyful reunion with departed loved ones, you better be a Christian. In addition, let’s hope and pray that your dead friends and family members were Christians also. I bet this story of the marvelous hope of the future resurrection, as normally understood, is not such a thrill for people outside our religious heritage.
There is a marked contrast between the universally declared joy of Christmas and the traditional version of what Easter is all about. While Christians claim the sanction of God and rejoice in the never ending hope of Easter, the rest of the world is left to wonder why they aren’t included in the celebration, primarily because they were born in the wrong place.