Bunnies and Easter baskets aside, the holiday of Easter is the cornerstone of our Christian faith; for without the Resurrection, Christianity would be just an assortment of empty promises.
We often see and hear much about His crucifixion, but not as much about His resurrection. I've often wondered why. Since the crucifixion can be proved as a historical fact, an equal degree of evidence is available as proof for His resurrection.
However, faith does not merely come as a result of irrefutable evidence on its side--it comes because an individual arrives at God's saving grace, or salvation, or a profession of faith THROUGH FAITH--whatever you wish to call it. One repents of sin, asks forgiveness for it, and then must accept that Jesus is his/her Savior. This redemptive faith changes one's eternal destiny forever:
Jesus Christ died on that cross to take on mankind's sin, as His death was the penalty of sin. In other words, He took my place on that cross, just as He took the place of every person who has ever accepted His redemption and believed it. God made the ultimate sacrifice for sin, and I am so thankful that He did. As He predicted, Jesus arose the third day, conquering death--thereby conquering it for His children as well. When we leave this life behind, we will live eternally with Him in heaven.
My eternal life is not a result of anything I did to gain God's favor; one's good works do not secure a passage to heaven. If that were the case, why then would Jesus have had to die on that cross? By falling back on works, mankind negates His glorious and selfless sacrifice, and works are a dead-end road for eternal life. That is the crux of the matter: man wants to have his works count, and he wants those works to give him eternal life. Once we accept Christ on faith, then our works reflect our love for Him. They don't gain us passage to heaven--Christ did that for us--but our works reflect our desire to please Christ and follow His example: