I love Easter; it is easily my favorite holiday on the calendar. However, my first exposures to Easter were not what we may consider typical. My parents were not Christians during my upbringing, so Easter took a more secular slant. I have fond memories of coloring eggs with my mom and my parents hiding them in the backyard to find, as well as large Easter baskets full of candy. However, there was no mention of Easter being a Christian holiday until I started attending church on a fairly regular basis as a teenager. It was there that I was exposed to what Easter meant from a Christian perspective. Fast forward a few years, when I came to truly know Christ as my LORD and Savior. From that point, I have gained a greater appreciation for Easter than ever before. I was especially struck with this my first Easter serving in Mansfield, Ohio in 2008. Our family went to church on Easter Sunday, and the pastor of the church, Dave Pound, stepped to the podium to begin the service. The discourse went like this: Pastor Pound: He is risen! Congregation: He is risen indeed! Pastor Pound: He is risen! Congregation: He is risen indeed! Pastor Pound: He is risen! Congregation: He is risen indeed! I had never heard such an exchange in church before. At that point, God hit me with the reality of Easter afresh and anew. The greatest event in all of history is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His rising from the dead was the singular moment that opened the gates of Heaven to us. If Jesus had stayed in the grave, death and Satan would have won. Instead, God accepted his Son’s sacrifice as the atonement for our sins, and that acceptance is shown in the resurrection. We serve a living Savior who lives to intercede before His Father on our behalf. (Hebrews 7:24,25) I am humbled and grateful to know that Jesus loves me so much! He is not on the cross, and He is not in the grave. He is risen; praise the LORD!