Easter is quickly approaching, and in the midst of all the different traditions and celebrations, you have to stop and ask yourself, “What is it really all about?” Some may say it is a Spring festival to celebrate the renewal of life, while others may call to mind images of an Easter Bunny delivering candy and treats.
The real story behind Easter, though, is the celebration of the most incredible event in history; the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This man of God, healer, and teacher was put to death on a cross. Three days later he came back from the grave in a demonstration of power that provided proof to his claim: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV)
To really appreciate the importance of this event, though, you have to also as, “why?” Why does it matter to you? What is the point of Jesus’ death and resurrection? In the opening few sentences of his letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul gives us the point.
He writes, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Chris, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever.” (Gal 1:3-5)
Jesus gave himself for our sins. That’s my sins, your sins, and the sins of everyone we know. Somehow this often gets missed in debates over Christian beliefs, but it is the starting place for everything it means to be a Christian. We argue about whether or not certain people are sinners when, in fact, the point is that we are ALL sinners. No matter how we rationalize it, justify it, ignore it, or try to explain how we can’t help ourselves, we cannot escape the fact that we have all fallen short of the standard God established. Because we all fall short of that standard, none of us has any right to be in God’s presence and are doomed to eternal separation from Him.
The good news, however…make that GREAT news…is that God couldn’t accept that. We may complain that it is just too hard to live up to God’s standard, but God already knows that and was not satisfied with allowing us to just live with the eternal consequences of our sin. He had a plan to help us. “According to the will of our God and Father, ” he sent His Son Jesus to give himself up on a cross and deliver us from the evil, sinful state of our lives. Jesus sacrificed His life so that the stain of those sins could be washed away from your life and you could begin a new life in God’s presence with His Holy Spirit to guide you. The point of Easter is that Jesus came to deliver you from your own sin. His resurrection proved that He was not a liar, but that there is real power behind the words He spoke and the promises He made.
So this Easter, celebrate with your church family the great thing Jesus did. If you don’t have a church, find one that understands the point of Easter and discover what it means that Jesus gave up His life for YOU!