Easter has very nearly come and gone. How we get so caught up in day-to-day life!
I seem to always miss writing about the holy days we celebrate. I suppose it may seem a bit odd that I have little to say about Christmas or Easter, but, (and I think I have written this before), there are so many other articles out there written by people who have more authority and are better and more completely written than what I could write. I encourage you to visit and read some of the selections that I have linked to at the end of the post.
But I will say something …
The suffering, death and resurrection of our Savior is the pivotal and defining event in all Christianity.
Without this, Christianity is a waste of time and effort. It becomes a mere feel good religion instead of an essential way of life. If not for this culmination of His walk on earth, all the words that Jesus said during His life are only nice sayings, even though they may be filled with truth. If not for His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead they would remain nice sayings – empty platitudes of limited importance.
But the fact is that He did suffer – horribly, at the hands of the Romans. He was nailed to the cross – I don’t think nails were commonly used in crucifixions. He died and descended into hell, rising on the third day, victorious over sin, death and the Devil, revealing Himself to people here on the earth.
Satan thought he had won the long-fought battle when He saw Jesus on the cross. I’m sure he taunted Jesus through words shouted out by the guards and others in attendance. I’ll bet he was smug when he saw Jesus descend into his hellish kingdom, thinking he was going to have some fun at last.
I’ll bet he was astonished, though, when Jesus started preaching to those who had been confined to Gehenna (hell), saying He, Jesus, was the Christ, the Son of God and that He was there to tell them the Good News and lead them out of Satan’s captivity if they would bend their knee and confess Him as Lord.
Jesus died for the sins of the world …
You’ve heard or even said the phrase: “Once and for all …” or some variation of it. When you did use it, you said it in conjunction with doing something like fixing a step on your porch. You said, “I’m going to fix that step once and for all,” as you pulled the hammer and nails out of the tool box. You meant you were going to fix it for all time. Well, the phrase comes from the Bible, but the “for all” part doesn’t focus only on the time aspect, it also focuses on the people aspect.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
God sent His Son into the world to die once and for all. That is to say, only one death for all the people of the world. The world in fond of saying Christianity is an exclusive religion, allowing only Christians into paradise. Well, I guess that’s true, but it’s also true that anybody can become a Christian – it isn’t only for a certain color of the skin or a certain race. By pulling the “exclusive religion card,” what man wants is to come in through the back door without commitment.
… and for YOUR sins.
The world, culture, society … whatever, all of these are egocentric. Man is the “big man on campus” – so to speak – the world revolves around what man is and what man can do. If man can’t do it it can’t be done. The world has created idols out of dust and formed them into the image of man. They question the existence of God and they pooh-pooh the idea of a personal God. The fact is that God knew you before the foundations of the world were formed. The fact is that Jesus, God, hung on that cross over 2000 years ago not only for the world, but for you, personally. One of the favorite lines is: “How can the dying of one man save the whole world?” and “It’s impossible for a god to know someone personally.”
For the God who created the universe with a snap of the fingers, made the stars appear, formed the earth, and differentiated the day from the night with only a word – knowing you is a small feat. Man has chosen to limit God to his own abilities – such miraculous things as living for 80 years. Whooppee-ding!
This is up close and personal, as they say. God knows you, personally. Jesus died for you, personally, just so you wouldn’t have to go through pain and suffering and hell. Jesus rose from the dead for you, personally. All this was done so that you would have the opportunity to live in paradise with Him for eternity. Don’t pass up this chance that you have right now. Become free of the bondage of the world and of sin and of the Devil.
Accept Jesus as your Savior today. Confess your sins to Him and ask his forgiveness. Ask Him to guide you and walk with you every day of your life for the rest of your life. You won’t regret it. Guaranteed.
Some Links for Easter
God Bless You this Easter Weekend.