It may sound weird at first to think about celebrating death. This kind of celebration is rarely sought. However, we more than mourn His death, because death wasn’t victorious. We are only angry at ourselves for putting Christ on the cross due to our sin for a short time until we can do nothing more than to rejoice in His suffering on our behalf. We may feel sadness regarding the pain, shame, and turmoil Christ willingly endured, but only for a moment as we turn again to worship a risen, heavenly-seated King.
The celebration, clearly, is more than just celebrating Christ’s death. We only celebrate this death, because we celebrate His life. It is through His resurrected life that we may have life. He conquered death and we, too, can have eternal life in heaven.
On Good Friday, we celebrate as we look ahead to His bodily resurrection. On Easter Sunday, we celebrate because we look ahead to our heavenly reunion. Jesus tells Martha in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”
We celebrate Christ’s death because of all it means and all it accomplishes on our behalf. Just a few of the “churchy” words to describe His death are that it redeemed, reconciled, justified, and propitiated. Through God’s love in sending Christ to atone for sin on our behalf, God’s wrath is averted (propitiation), the ransom has been paid (redemption), the innocent Christ was condemned in order that the guilty sinner may be declared with His righteousness (justification), and the sinless Son was made sin for us in order that our relationship with the Father be in good standing (reconciliation).
We also celebrate His resurrection for multiple reasons. One, it proves that Jesus was who He said He was. Two, it proves that He could accomplish in His death all that God said it would accomplish. Three, it proves that through faith in Christ, we will receive the promise God said we would receive, namely eternal life.
Christ conquered death; therefore, death has no victory and death has no sting! And that is something to celebrate.