The Difference Between Easter and Christmas

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As we prepare our hearts for worship during Passion Week, may we consider the profound differences between celebrating Christmas and celebrating Easter.

  • With his incarnation, we proclaim the good news to all people that a Savior is born.
  • With his crucifixion, we confess the sobering truth that God’s Messiah died as payment for our sins.
  • The cast of his birth includes joyful parents, obedient wise men, a cruel king, as well as astounded shepherds looking down at a newborn babe.
  • The cast of his death includes a grieving mother, a disobedient assembly of wise men, a cruel governor, and an astounded centurion looking up at the crucified Christ.
  • At his birth, he leaves the splendor of heaven by himself to be delivered as a newborn.
  • At his death, he experiences the horror of hell to deliver everyone who receives him from their sins.
  • Christmas crescendos on that holy night in Bethlehem when Christ is born in a stable manger.
  • Easter erupts with an earthquake at dawn on the first day of the week in a garden tomb.
  • While Christmas is a gift from the heart of a loving father,
  • Easter is a ransom required by our rebellious hearts.

“Consider the wonder of it: God determined that he would rather go to hell on our behalf than live in heaven without us. He so much wants us not to go to hell that he paid a horrible price on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to.”  –from “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn

  • Christmas is joyful.
  • Easter morning is joyful.

But the path from the occupied manger to the empty tomb is filled with more sorrow than we can imagine.

“...For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  –Hebrews 12:1b-2b

For all this and more, Christ is worthy of our praise.

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Posted in: Christmas, Easter, Theology of Worship, Spiritual Development, Seasonal Resources

Vince Wilcox

Vince Wilcox

Vince Wilcox served as general manager of Discover Worship from 2014 to 2020. As Contributing Editor, he continues to bring his varied experiences as attorney, marketer, entrepreneur, musician, and product creator to help worship leaders acquire resources to glorify God and transform lives. In addition to his duties at Discover Worship, Vince is the full-time director of the Music Business program at Trevecca Nazarene University and active in his local church.

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