With the passing of Ash Wednesday we are now in the Easter season. Every year the Easter season instills the thought of the cross upon my mind. Obviously, without the death of Christ there is no resurrection.
Do you ever sit back and wonder why Easter? Not why we celebrate it but why it even exists? Lots of questions can roam through the mind if we allow the mind to ask. Is Christ really God? If He is, then why did He die? Why would God the Father allow His own creation to murder His Son? If Christ was going to be resurrected in three days anyway, why go through the cross to begin with?
Why did Christ come? He came to save the world, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1 John 4:14).
A drowning man needs to be saved from the water. Someone in a burning building needs to be saved from the fire; so then, what is it the whole world needs to be saved from? The world is drowning in sin; sin is what He came to save us from, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
God explains to us in the Scripture that sin must be paid for and the payment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). To save us from sin Christ became our substitute, He took our place and died for us, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” (1 Peter 3:18). Our lifeline for the sins we were drowning in is the cross, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement or our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5). Everyone’s sins, mine, yours, everyone’s was placed on Jesus while He was on the cross, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
The payment for sin, death, has been made; by Christ as the final sacrifice, the only sacrifice God the Father will accept for our sins. Christ is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
By dying on the cross Christ took our place, became our substitute, and provided the means of salvation. But what good does a dead Saviour do us? None.
The cross was necessary to pay the price for our sins but the resurrection seals the deal, gives us proof of everlasting life and gives meaning to everything else. Without the resurrection the death of Christ is in vain. Without the resurrection all of Christianity is worthless (1 Corinthians 15:13-14).
I will enjoy the breakfast Easter morning along with millions of other Christians around the globe. A good friend of mine will be singing in his church’s cantata that morning. Many women will be wearing new outfits that morning and many little children will dress up more for that day than any other day of the year. If the heart is right there is nothing wrong with any of this but let us never forget the significance of the day.
Without the resurrection we are still lost in our sins, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17).
The resurrection give us our hope of eternal life, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
What does Easter mean to you? Is it only an afterthought? Is it just a busier church day than normal? Or, does it mean more? Is Christ and His resurrection the foundation that your eternity rests upon giving your everyday meaning and purpose? The answer is somewhere in there, somewhere in your heart.
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. He and his wife Julie have four grown children and 11 grandchildren. You can reach Preacher Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org