We have just celebrated Easter. For some people, Easter belongs strictly in the realm of the Easter bunny, treats and days off work. For others, Easter is primarily a time of celebrating Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. So Easter, like Christmas, is celebrated as a combination of the secular and the sacred.
I am sure you have all had your full of chocolate bunnies, marshmallow eggs and hot cross buns. And there is nothing wrong with that (besides a few inches on the waistline)! But hopefully we went beyond yummy treats and days off and gave thought to what Easter actually means.
I found this explanation of Easter on the Cornerstone Church website, and felt to share it with you as it’s a great reminder of all that Jesus has done for us.
What’s the big deal about Easter?
Jesus was crucified by the plan of God, carried out by men. By arranging his crucifixion, despite His innocence, Jesus’ contemporaries sought a temporary political victory for their nation over the occupying forces of Rome. But it became something far different – Jesus’ death achieved a spiritual victory for all of mankind.
As the perfect man he traded his life to satisfy God’s justice against all of mankind’s sin. For God must uphold justice, as we would expect from any king. Except God’s love and mercy for mankind meant that the only way he could satisfy both his justice and love was to pour out his justice (wrath) on a willing, perfect substitute. Jesus was that willing substitute and He therefore paid the price of our sin on our behalf.
But then Jesus rose from the dead and was seen by over 500 people before ascending to heaven. His resurrection was the final victory over death, meaning that all who trust in Jesus step into this victory and will not die eternally. It also means that all who trust in Him can enjoy God’s life right now and know God personally.
The resurrection was also Jesus’ victory over the Devil who was not able and can now never stop God’s plan of redemption to mankind. God’s true character of being both perfectly loving and perfectly just show how empty the Devil’s philosophies and ideas about God, which are pervasive in this world, actually are.
Christians trust Jesus rather than themselves, their good works or even their religious works to save them from God’s justice. That’s what it means to ‘have faith in Jesus’. His rising from the dead proved that God declares mankind free. All that remains is for people to accept this freedom from God.
Luke 24:1-8 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.
Jesus has risen from the dead and He Is Lord! Let's remember what Jesus Christ has done for each one of us. Let's celebrate Easter as we celebrate Him whom Easter is all about. Let’s continue to live in wonder, awe and thanksgiving for all He has done.