As we approach Easter, many of us think about the meaning of Easter. It is not about bunnies, colored eggs, peeps, or chocolate candy. The Bible gives us the true meaning of Easter: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NKJV).

As I was doing research for a sermon a few weeks ago, I came across a 2020 Pew Research Center survey that said 65% of adults in the United States identified themselves as Christians. I think most of us can agree that 65% of Americans don’t act like Christians. Gallup in a 2020 survey found that 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue, or mosque. Other surveys say that 27% of Americans attend church regularly. If we add in those who attend church services on Christmas and Easter, we get 35% who attend church either regularly or occasionally.

Naturally, we wonder why so many Americans who say they are Christians don’t attend church regularly. This reminds me of two of Jesus’ followers on the road to Emmaus after Jesus’ crucifixion found in Luke 24:13-35. These two followers of Jesus had heard his teachings and most likely seen him perform some of his miracles.

As these two followers were walking on the road to Emmaus, we read in Luke 24:15-17: “So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, ‘What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?’”

They told this stranger that they didn’t know was Jesus about the events of the last three days. In verse 21, we see that so many of Jesus’ followers misunderstood his true mission when we read: “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.” When they got to Emmaus, they invited this stranger to break bread with them. It was then that we read in verse 31: “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him…”

Just like those two followers of Jesus, many Americans who claim they are Christians need their eyes to be opened so they can truly know Jesus. Those of us who regularly attend church need to pray that our family’s, friends’, and neighbors’ eyes would be open. We need to share the love of Christ and share the Gospel message with them.

To those of you who believe in Jesus but don’t attend church, I invite you to come visit my church or any other Bible-believing church for a Sunday Worship service. I pray that your eyes would truly be open to Jesus.

Tim Hammond is the pastor of Oak Street Baptist Church in Kingman, AZ.