This weekend many people will celebrate Easter. Most will exalt the Easter bunny and the gifts of chocolate that he supposedly brings. But Christians will exalt Christ Jesus because the gift He brings is salvation. Let’s come to the cross and celebrate together!
The greatest act of love that this world has ever witnessed happened on the cross many years ago. It’s where Jesus died for you and for me. Sometimes it’s hard for people to fully grasp what actually took place on that cruel and brutal cross. Many acknowledge that Jesus was nailed to it, but do they really understand why?
Jesus is the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, but He was not a descendant of Adam like the rest of us. He had a human body, but it was totally free of sin because He was a new creation. He had to become a person so that He could live amongst us.
The Pharisees and Sadducees charged Him with blasphemy and convinced the Roman government to have Him killed for His actions against the Jewish religion. And so they agreed. But Jesus had not sinned. He was who He said He was, the Son of God. And He came for the reason He said that He came, to become our salvation.
The Jewish leaders thought they were getting their way in having Jesus killed, but the truth is that this was God’s will for Jesus. Jesus was the Lamb of God who had come to take our sins away. False religions see this as God demanding a blood sacrifice to appease their sin. This is an absolute lie. God is a loving Heavenly Father, and since He made Hell for the devil and his angels because they were driven by sin, God knew the ultimate destination for anyone with sin is Hell, and He didn’t want His children to go there.
When Adam disobeyed God and let sin come into his heart, God removed His Spirit from Adam and Eve, and the spirit of this world, of Satan, filled their hearts instead. And then that new nature of sin became hereditary in the hearts of every person born after that. And the destination of Hell became their eternity right along with Satan—because of their sin.
God was angry that His children had foolishly chosen sin over Him, but He promised Eve that He’d send someone to redeem them, and then He promised Abraham that this Redeemer would come through his lineage. And many years later, Jesus was born. But Jesus didn’t come to just be a good teacher or a worthy prophet, although He was both. Jesus came for one reason—to be our Savior and redeem us back to God.
And so He was accused falsely and nailed to the cross. And while on that cross, God withdrew His Spirit from Jesus and poured the sins of every one of us upon His Son. God did this—for us! This was not easy for Jesus to endure, but He did it because He wanted us to be saved from the judgment of sin. He did it because He loves us that much!
When Jesus died, our sins that were upon Him sent Him to Hell. And Jesus left those sins in Hell, but Hell couldn’t keep Him there because He was pure. And He rose up out of Hell and became the first ever be resurrected from the dead. Jesus was alive!
People will argue that it’s not so, that Jesus raised people from the dead while He was on earth, so He’s not the first to be resurrected. But He was! Those that He brought back to life had not been judged or sentenced yet; like Lazarus, they were asleep, waiting for judgment. But the sin that Jesus bore—my sin and your sin—was judged and condemned and sentenced to Hell. And Jesus took them there for us.
And when He rose, the angels of Heaven came down and escorted Him back to Heaven. Jesus had done what He had come to do. He had fulfilled the promise of God to redeem us back to Him.
But it’s not an automatic redemption. Salvation is a gift and we must accept it. It’s very personal! We must repent of our sins and ask Jesus to be Lord over our lives. Then He removes the sin from us and fills us with His Spirit. We are free because the sins we once bore have already been sent to Hell.
This is the power of the cross! This is why Jesus died on that cross for us—to take our sins away so we could be redeemed back to our Heavenly Father. There is no greater love than this! As John 3:16 says, God loves us.
So when we celebrate the festivities this season, let’s all remember it’s because Jesus died for our sins and then rose again on the third day and is alive forevermore. And He’s coming back for us! So it’s not Happy Easter for Christians. It’s Happy Resurrection Day!
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I wish you all a very Happy Resurrection Day!
And don’t forget to get your copy of The Rising Son. It’s a collection of testimonies from people who knew Jesus and tell about the impact His death and resurrection had on their lives. Based on Scripture and emphasized through this author’s imagination, it will bless you and help you to see the reality of the cross a little bit better.