Easter is a significant time of remembrance and celebration for what Christ has done for us. Here's what we should choose to remember as we walk into this special season.

Reflecting on my childhood, it’s pretty clear to me that I grew up in the world of “cultural Christianity.”

I grew up hearing all of the Bible stories. I went to church on Sundays. At one point, I even made a profession of faith. If you had asked me if I was a Christian, I would have said, “Yes.” 

But in reality, I was not a follower of Christ – instead, I was following my own heart.  

By the time I was in my late 20s, this lifestyle led me to a place of hopelessness and despair. I had tried everything the world had to offer, but I found that chasing these pleasures left me feeling bankrupt and empty. Had it not been for God, who placed people in my path who shared His redeeming love for me, I would still be in that dark, empty place today. 

This Easter, I’m choosing to remember what happened to me in September 2004, when I trusted in Christ’s death on the cross for my sins and decided to follow the risen Savior. I’m choosing to remember my baptism, when I made an outward profession of an inward change and celebrated what God did to bring me into His family. 

Most importantly, I’m choosing to remember what happened 2,000 years ago, when Christ died and rose again for my sins. Because of His death and resurrection, we can celebrate that we have eternal life – with Paul, we can proclaim to the world that “death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). What a wonderful promise we have to remember!

We have much more we can choose to remember. One of my favorite parts of this season is the weekend that follows Easter. Every year, churches across North Carolina and beyond celebrate “Fill the Tank” Baptism Sunday, a time when countless new believers choose to remember – and proclaim – what their Savior did for them. 

Last year, N.C. Baptists saw over 250 churches report nearly 1,600 baptisms on “Fill the Tank” Sunday. We had the opportunity to see some incredible stories as a result of that weekend:

• At Fellowship Baptist Church in Moyock, Pastor James Harrington had the unexpected opportunity to baptize a young man who had been visiting for only a few weeks, after the two individuals Harrington planned to baptize failed to show up.

• At North Brook Baptist Church In Cherryville, Pastor Robert Wise had planned on baptizing three people. He ended up baptizing twice as many instead – three others made professions of faith during the service.

• Brandon Mullis, pastor of Clear Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte, had the privilege of baptizing his own daughter after she made a profession of faith that morning.

This Easter, I’m remembering the hundreds of lives that were changed last year during “Fill the Tank” Sunday. I’m praising God for His faithfulness to act when we respond in obedience, and I’m confident that He will act again on April 7, this upcoming “Fill the Tank” Sunday. 

Every year, pastors tell me that they get a lot of guests who come to church on Easter, and they also get to see a lot of people profess new faith in Christ. I always encourage pastors to call for people to trust and follow Christ and then baptize those new believers the following week. That’s the goal for “Fill the Tank” Sunday: We’re encouraging N.C. Baptist churches to fill their baptism tanks on that day and trust God to save souls between now and then. As we saw last year, God is faithful to act.

Easter and “Fill the Tank” Sunday are both days of remembrance. They are days when we remind each other of the risen Savior, of His love for us and His power to change lives. 

My hope is that you would join N.C. Baptists across the state this year as we choose to remember how Christ saved us from darkness and brought us into His light. 

Will you join us this year as N.C. Baptist churches “Fill the Tank?” You can learn more and pledge to participate at fillthetanknc.org.

EDITOR’S NOTE – This article originally appeared in the March/April 2024 edition of the Biblical Recorder magazine.