WHY IS EASTER DIFFERENT FROM OTHER DAYS?
By Ernest O'Neill
Why is Easter Different From Other Days?
By Rev. Ernest O'Neill
But on a clear day you can see forever and this is the clearest day of the whole year and the clearest day in the whole world. On this day you can see forever.
Suddenly all vagueness disappears on this day. And that hits many of us where it hurts. Because a lot of us here like to say, "Oh for goodness sake, there's no certainty anywhere. You can't find certainty. Let's face it. There's no one knows what is the meaning of the universe. Nobody really understands why we're here. No one understands where we all came from. Let's face it, we all just have to live the best way we can because we've had all kinds of holy men and the world is full of religions and they all have their own story. You can never know. You can never know for sure. All we can do is do our best." And there are many of us, Loved Ones, that love the uncertainty that comes from that kind of viewpoint.
On this day all that disappears, because millions may have followed Mohammed, millions may have followed Buddha. There may be thousands of other so-called religious leaders that have claimed to do mighty deeds and around which great legends have gathered, but this Easter day sets one person above all of those.
Buddha didn't even believe in a personal God. Mohammed never claimed to be more than an ordinary human being. But there is only one man who not only claimed to be the unique son of our Creator, but who died so publicly that even Roman historians, critical of the faith that He established, recorded His death. And this same man, three days later, came back from being dead and for more than a month, walked and ate and slept with the material body among people who challenged their own contemporaries to disprove the resurrection of this man.
Only one man has set before the world such plain and obvious proof asking the world, Contradict this! Contradict it. Loved Ones, it's the last way you would try to pull a hoax on people, the way this man did it. He died so publicly and so obviously, He was so efficiently killed by the military experts at killing at that day, He so clearly presented Himself as one who was alive, and challenged so plainly anybody to disprove it, that, either this man is true, or history itself is not real.
Loved Ones, Easter sets this man above everybody else and if you say, "What is certainty?" I'll show you, it's in that verse that we read if you like to look at it. It's that John 20:17, that's the most certain verse in the whole world. John 20:17, "Jesus said to her, "Do not hold Me for I have not yet ascended to the Father but go to My brethren and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God". A lot of other people have said that, but we have never seen them again. But He came back the next day to tell us what our Father was thinking of us.
Now, Loved Ones that's certainty. No Mohammed, no Buddha, no fellow called Smith, no Zoroaster, no Moon can give that kind of certainty. That is certainty. And you and I really have to deal with that certainty today. I did not like it. I tried to deal with it the way probably many of you have. I tried to get rid of it because I was the same as many of you and the same as Aldus Huxley. I felt that I wanted to live life my own way and I didn't want to have to commit myself to some other person or to some definite way of life, I wanted to live it the way I wanted to live it. So I wanted to retain uncertainty as far as some final authority in the universe is concerned.
I was happy with the idea that we should all make our own standards, live by the golden rule, be as kind as we can to everybody. I was happy with that because that made me the god of my own life and I could decide how kind I was to be or how unkind I was going to be. But I hated the idea of somebody who was clearly and obviously the son of the person who made my hands and my feet and therefore the one who had the right to have authority over my life.
So I tried to get rid of this certainty. I did it the way most of us do. You know how we tackle it.