These days, mentioning Easter tends to bring to mind images of bunny rabbits, Easter eggs hunts, and baskets of candy. While none of these things are bad (well, except maybe the candy if you eat too much) none of them are the reason that we as Christians celebrate Easter. No, the reason for the season (to borrow a Christmas phrase) is Jesus.
You see, it all goes back to the beginning, to the Garden of Eden and the fall of mankind into sin. When sin entered the world through the actions of Adam and Eve, humanity became separate from God. In his love and grace, God wanted to fix that state of separation, so that we could be with him always, as we were intended to be.
To that end, he sent his only son, Jesus, to save us. Jesus lived a perfect life, never falling to temptation. And even though he lived a perfect life, Jesus took the punishment that we deserved - death. He died for our guilt, though he was guiltless.
But dying wasn't the end. Three days after his death on the cross, Jesus rose from the dead! He conquered the grave, and in doing so paved the way for us to return to God.
It's so simple to accept this gift that God has given us. All it requires is for us to repent of our sins, and to accept Jesus Christ as Savior. That's it. God did the hard work already.
So over this Easter weekend, enjoy your family get togethers, and Easter egg hunts, and gift baskets, and whatever other family tradition you may have. But don't forget the meaning behind Easter; "for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16, KJV)