Easter: What's the Big Deal?

In just a few days Facebook will be lit up with Easter greetings.  Which can beg the question, what’s the big deal about Easter, anyway?  You can be sure that there is a whole lot more to this occasion than the Easter Bunny and egg hunts.  This is all about how Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered for sinners and defeated death.  There could not be anything more relevant than this.

God’s Word informs us that there is a great divide between us and God.  We are capable of doing some pretty amazing and commendable things.  Equally true is the reality that we are also capable of doing the worst things.  This tendency of ours to choose our own way, to focus on ourselves, to act selfishly…is termed sin.  Sin separates us from our Creator, who is surpassing in His moral perfection.  Our greatest potential and life overflowing is only found in truly knowing Him personally.   

All we, like sheep, have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way.

Racial tensions are now in the headlines in the USA.  This concept of sin is behind every expression of hate and selfishness.  And, we can trade out racism for every form of wrongdoing and the concept remains.  Sin causes heartache and alienates us from God.  It is precisely for this reason that One suffered in our place, enduring God’s righteous judgment on our own sin (also called iniquity), so our relationship could be restored.

But the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.

The Messiah, Jesus Christ, suffered and died because sin HAS to be punished.  We affirm God’s loving and gracious nature.  However, if justice is not meted out, He is no longer HOLY. 

Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission (forgiveness) of sin.

Jesus Christ shed His blood and spread His arms out on the cruel Roman cross, not because of His own guilt, but because of ours.  It was the greatest expression of love ever witnessed.  Immanuel, “God with us”, suffered in our place so we could experience new life and be reconciled to the One who gives us breath.  He did not suffer for His own wrongdoing for He had none; He suffered for our sin. 

He poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.  For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Are you a sinner?  Are you a transgressor of God’s holiness?  I have no problem conceding that I have sinned and I trust you don’t either.  Divine love is compelling:  the sinless Son of God lay down his life for sinners.  Yet, the story doesn’t end there. 

After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.

This is exactly the focus of Easter. Jesus did not die and stay in the tomb.  A dead Savior would be a powerless Savior.  Death has no jurisdiction over Him!  He rose again because the Author of life has dominion over everything; He is victorious over sin, hell, death the grave.  Because He lives, we know our future is secure in Him, come what may in this life. 

One last note.  The italicized text above is all found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).  The narrative in the Bible is God’s unfolding drama of redemption as He graciously reconciles sinners to Himself.  This is why, when Jesus celebrated His final Passover meal, He made the stunning declaration:

[The bread] is my body, which is for you…this cup is the new covenant in my blood…

The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection is not a new invention of Christianity, but fully anticipated in the Hebrew Scriptures.  Truly, He was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead:  Jesus Christ our Lord. 

May God bless you richly as you consider the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

Sincerely,

Pastor Colin