What does Easter mean to you? How do you and your family celebrate? Do you have traditions that have been handed down for generations? Let's look at the real meaning of Easter.

Many of the crowd that had hailed Jesus as King just a few days before, turned against Him and they, along with the Pharisees, demanded that Jesus be crucified.

How many times have we gone against our better judgment in the heat of the moment and sided with the majority? Pontius Pilate finally gave in to their demands and sent Jesus off to Calvary to be crucified.

What the rulers didn't realize was that God had planned redemption for sin through the death of His Son. Jesus willingly offered Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of the world so we could be redeemed from sin and justified before God.

Do we look at the empty tomb and rejoice that the angel told the women, "He is risen, just as He said?" Or are we, like the disciples, confused? Jesus had told them of His death, burial and resurrection, but they really didn't understand until they physically saw Him after the resurrection. How do we react to this good news? Do we thank the Lord for His indescribable gift, the gift of new life, or do we reject Him?

Easter is the culmination of Christianity. Without Easter, Christmas would be meaningless. That perfect baby born in Bethlehem grew up to be the Savior of the world. Without Christ's death, burial and resurrection we would not have the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life with Christ Jesus when we accept Him as our Savior.

Have a glorious Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. He is risen!

Easter services

Easter sunrise services will be held in both Crestview and Laurel Hill. One is 6:30 a.m. April 16 at Old Spanish Trail Park, Stillwell Boulevard, Crestview. The Crestview Area Ministerial Association hosts that.

The other is 6 a.m., April 16 at Gene Clary Park, located on the corner of New Ebenezer Road and Park in Laurel Hill. Bring chairs and dress in warm clothing. If it is cold, bring blankets.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.