As we head into Easter, we remember that the events which took place 2,000 years ago, marked the most pivotal event in history and in the Christian faith. Without a doubt, the resurrection of Jesus is the defining moment in all of Scripture.
The Christian faith rises or falls on the resurrection
The Christian faith rises or falls on the resurrection. Paul says “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:17-20)
Did you know that no other religion claims a resurrected leader? Not one. You can visit the tombs of all the other religious leaders and see their final resting places. Their remains are in the grave. But not with Jesus, His tomb was empty!
Jesus resurrection proves that this life is not all that there is. There is the certain hope of heaven and a life after this life – forever with our God and his son Jesus. Paul says that Jesus, the Christ and our Messiah, was the first fruits and a guarantee of that promise. (1 Cor 15:17-20)
The Story of Jesus is, above all else, a love story
The story of Jesus is, above all else, a love story. Jesus is the God of the universe. Not one atom in this cosmos was made without his direct involvement in its creation, including each of us. Yet every one of us turned away from of Him, rejecting his love and lordship. The Bible calls this sin. The effect of this is that human beings were cut off from the author of life. But God wasn’t content to leave things like this, that’s why this is a love story. God loves his world and us so much that he wasn’t prepared to let us stay separated from Him.
That’s where Jesus comes in. He stepped out of glory in heaven and into our troubled world, coming as a vulnerable baby. He grew up in a normal Jewish family and had a trade as a carpenter, until he started his public ministry. Then, after living a perfect life, in an astonishing act of self-sacrificial love, he was unjustly beaten and crucified on a Roman cross.
Jesus death was no ordinary death
But Jesus death was no ordinary death. His death absorbed the guilt, rejection, shame, fear, bondage and brokenness of the world. He substituted himself for us. Our sinful record, with his faultless record. Our broken relationship with God, with reconciliation and intimacy again with our heavenly Father. Added to add to that … because He conquered death and arose, we too shall arise to eternal life. That’s what the Easter celebration is all about! How marvellously amazing was God’s redemptive plan. Jesus has made all this possible. As Paul exclaimed “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)
I’m thinking this Easter about the world in which we live. Where do you live? I’m sure you will agree that so many yet have not experienced the true Jesus – the Jesus of this greatest “love-story” ever told. Their experience of him is either non-existent, second or third-hand, or it has even been impaired by people who have represented him incorrectly. Jesus heart is beating for them, He longs for them to know and experience His amazing grace and love.
Sharing the greatest love story ever told
My appeal to all of us this Easter is to ask Jesus who we can share His love with? I believe He will tell us if we ask.
I also pray for you this Easter. May you be deeply reminded again, of how very great God’s loves is for you personally.
Happy Easter – Jesus is Risen!
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ (Matthew 28:1-8)