From the time that I was a child, my parents and church leaders taught me about the meaning of Easter. I learned that it was not about the Easter Bunny and colored eggs; it was a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Although I knew about the resurrection and its place in the Easter holiday, I did not fully grasp the significance of that miraculous event until a few years ago when I had the opportunity to speak to my church congregation on Easter. Preparing for that talk encouraged me to reflect deeply for perhaps the first time on how my knowledge of the resurrection made a difference in my daily life.
That reflection forced me to dig deep into my beliefs. Did I believe in Jesus Christ? Did I believe that He lived a perfect life, atoned for the sins of the world, was crucified in His innocence, and rose again three days later, or was it just a good story?
If it happened, what did it mean for me?
As I wrestled with those questions, my testimony of Christ reached a new level. It burned brightly within my heart, and I knew that His story as related in the scriptures was true.
I knew that He was God’s Son and my Savior, and had paved the way for me to overcome sorrow, pain, and sin so that I might return clean to my Heavenly Father. I knew that He died as a martyr and rose again from that garden tomb with a glorified body of flesh and bones.
I started to understand that resurrection is infinitely more than a singular event that happened to Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago; it is intensely personal.
Christ may have been the first to rise, but He will not be the last. Because He lives, we will all live again, with perfect bodies that will no longer bear the burdens of mortality.
Knowing that life goes on after death means that choices matter. My daily choices are continuously shaping my character, which will ultimately determine my eternal destiny.
At the end of my life, I want to be confident that I chose well – that I lived well. I want to be able to stand before God, knowing that, although I was far from perfect, I did my best to live the commandments and follow Him.
I want to know in my heart that I took advantage of the atonement that Christ so willingly performed, which is the only way that any of us can overcome sin. Since no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God (Alma 40:26) and we are all sinners, repentance is a beautiful and vital gift.
I will be forever indebted to my Savior, who has given me hope for eternal life with Him. That confidence comes from understanding the reality of His resurrection.
Through Him, I have found new life.
If you have a minute, this Easter message about Jesus Christ is beautiful.