What is more important to celebrate: Easter or Christmas? When I typed that question into Google, most of the summaries concluded that Easter should be more important. I often thought the same thing. Then I realized something.
First, let’s take the question,which came first: the chicken or the egg? Honestly, the answer does not matter. Without the egg or the chicken neither exists. Think about it. Chicken hatch from eggs, but eggs come from chickens. No matter which came first if we did not have both chickens become extinct. We can use this same thought towards Christmas and Easter.
Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ. It is the time most people remember the life of the Savior, his works and his love. We realize that Christ became the first gift of Christmas. With Christmas, the Son of God entered the world as a tiny baby.
Easter celebrated the death and resurrection of Christ. Through the death and resurrection of Christ all mankind have the chance to be forgiven of sins, be resurrected and return to our Father in Heaven. This time is called the Atonement. Easter focuses on celebrating the Atonement of Christ.
The question still stands. Which is more important: Easter of Christmas? In my opinion, both Easter and Christmas have importance. Without the birth of the Savior, we do not have the Atonement. Without the choice of the Savior to fulfill the Atonement, we have no reason to celebrate His birth. Evangelist Billy Graham said on a question and answer page:
Both are equally important, because both were an essential part of God’s plan. Without Christmas, there would be no Easter—and without Easter, Christmas wouldn’t matter.
Another way to look at this comes from President Gordon B. Hinckley from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:
The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem of Judea is preface. The three-year ministry of the Master is prologue. The magnificent substance of the story is his sacrifice, the totally selfless act of dying in pain and dishonor on the cross of Calvary to atone for the sins of all of us.
The epilogue is the miracle of the Resurrection, bringing the assurance that ‘as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ (1 Cor. 15:22).
There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another babe without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant face of the Resurrection.
Both Easter and Christmas should be great celebration. With Christmas we celebrate the birth and life of our Savior. With Easter, we celebrate His Atonement for us. Without one there cannot be the other. I understand that Christmas is generally commercially a bigger celebration. Also we always know what date to celebrate Christmas. Easter has a quieter celebration and the date tends to move around. Regardless, let’s give equal or more emphasis to Easter and the Atonement as to Christmas.