It’s Easter, a very different Easter this year. Churches are closed because of COVID-19, so any celebration of Jesus’ resurrection is happening remotely.
That means it’s going to be easier this year to forget about the true meaning of Easter. Jesus was crucified on a Roman cross, buried in a tomb, rose on the third day, and ascended to heaven. But rather than focusing on Jesus, the real meaning of Easter, many people think Easter is about bunnies and chocolate candy. Do you understand why Jesus had to die?
God created people to enjoy relationships with each other and with him. But people messed up and were tricked into believing they could be like God. The result of that ‘sin’ was the need for atonement. Sin has to be “paid for.” Early followers offered animal sacrifices and the shedding of blood for that atonement. But when Jesus came to earth, he became the sacrifice for all fallen people. His death means that we can be declared righteous if we put our faith in Him.
He suffered inhumane torture and death on a cross so that the sin of each of us was atoned for by him. It’s easy to think about Jesus dying for all people, but it’s much more personal than that. If you were the only person alive at the time, you would have had to drive the spikes through his hands and feet. And he would have died for you. He would have borne the shame of all your sin and died so that you could have eternal life.
His death would have been meaningless though if he’d remained in the grave. But on the third day, he arose. God arose from the dead and is in heaven waiting for us to join him for eternity. But to get there we must acknowledge that:
- we are sinners and our sin separates us from God,
- God is holy and his character requires sin to be punished,
- no matter how hard we try, we can do nothing to save ourselves,
- God sent his Son to die in our place,
- we deserve eternal separation from a holy God, but he took mercy on us and if you believe that, and accept Jesus as your personal savior, you will spend eternity with him.
Do you understand?