Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. But, as I ponder the significance of Easter this year, my heart is shifting. Did you know that the early church didn’t even celebrate the birth of Jesus. Easter was their most cherished holiday. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God and what He came to do. It’s Easter that gives us the full understanding of why He came. We can celebrate the continuos work of our risen Savior and perfect High Priest. (See Hebrews 4) Both holidays are significant because they are pivotal moments when Jesus rewrote history. Christmas is a story of beginnings but Easter is an ongoing story.
This weekend all around the world millions will gather to celebrate the greatest event in History – the day that Jesus Christ the Son of God conquered death once for all! Easter is the one holiday that can connect to you and take residence within your soul. At Christmas we can stand around the manger scene and sing about Jesus but there is not enough there to really change your life forever. He didn’t come to live, He came to die. But He didn’t stay dead!
Easter makes it possible for you and I to be eternally changed.
Around 2,000 years ago the death of Jesus Christ the Son of God on the cross paid for my sin and yours. His death was a perfect payment to God’s Holy Justice so that all mankind could be forgiven of their sin, all their sin. Jesus died so that we could be forgiven by God. This forgiveness brings us peace and a right relationship with God. (see Romans 5) We must worship Him for this incredible act of love and sacrifice! Jesus was so motivated by the will of His Father, and His extravagant love for you and I, that He willingly endured intense torture and death to pay for our sin debt. May your heart be filled with humble gratitude for His sacrifice of love!
But the death of Jesus was merely the first act, it was just the opener to the greatest scene in all of history! He didn’t stay dead, Jesus came back to life! Are you aware of the monumental significance of this? Buddha – dead. Muhammad – dead. Abraham – dead. No other religion has both a savior and king that conquered death. If Jesus stayed dead where could we put our hope?
Theologically the death of Christ only accomplished part of the plan. It brought forgiveness and peace with God but we needed more. We needed a Savior to go before us and conquer death so that we might also, through Him, live forever. When Jesus rose from the grave He set in to motion something new. The book of Romans says that the life He now lives is proof that He can give us eternal life also. He paved the way. He set the new standard. We need not fear death anymore for He has already defeated it for us. Jesus is a risen, living, working on our behalf, interceding kind of Savior. He still bears the marks of His torture and death because they are trophies of His love. They are trophies of His glory, the glory He will receive for all eternity because of His redemptive work.
The reason Easter is a never ending story is because not only is Jesus still alive, He is working on your behalf to accomplish glory in and through your life. Easter never has to end because eternal life through Jesus is ongoing, it’s well… never ending.
Pause this Easter, close your eyes and don’t miss what Easter is all about. It’s not about a nice meal, a ceremony, a church service, chocolate eggs, or simply another religious holiday. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the single most history altering event that will ever affect you and I. It’s about how God can make you fully alive through Jesus Christ! All it takes is faith. Do you believe?
With Jesus there is no end to this amazing story. You are His and He is yours, forever.