“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” -John 10:17-18
“Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” -John 20:6-9
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” -1 Corinthians 15:17
“God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” -Acts 2:24
“And was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” -Romans 1:4
“Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” -Romans 4:25
As a non-believer looking in at Christianity it would not be much of a stretch to think that the most important part of Christianity is what we celebrate at Christmas. That is the holiday full of decorations and presents and songs and movies. And yes, the coming of God in the form of man was a glorious thing, but the reason it was so wonderful is specifically for what was accomplished 33 years later in the event we celebrate by Easter.
It is with Easter that we remember and rejoice at the resurrection of Christ. The same Christ who three days earlier gave up his life on the cross in order to pay the penalty of our sins, now takes his life back up to show that death no longer has hold. It is because of this that we are able, as it says above, to be justified, or made clean and righteous before God. This is important because unless we are righteous we have no hope of living eternally in the presence of the Holy God. As the apostle Paul says, if Christ were not raised then we are totally hopeless. However, knowing that he has been resurrected we should celebrate all the more, for this is the only power which can free us from our sins!