The Easter “holiday”

I Corinthians 15:3-11 “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.  Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.  For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”

Easter time is approaching again.  It’s another one of those times of year, like Christmas, when families enjoy time together.  It’s often a joyous time of feasting, and spring flowers, and of Easter egg hunts and candy for the children.  So is that what this holiday (which means “Holy Day”) is all about?  Not really – although that is all it is to many.  Yes, it is a Holy Day.  Many people attend church on Easter although they may only attend few if any other times in the year.  Attending church is an Easter tradition.  But what is it really about and does it really matter to you personally? 

At its heart, Easter commemorates resurrection day, the day that Jesus rose from the dead.  But why does that matter?  Does it matter at all?  Well, according to God’s word, it matters more than anything else in all of history – and this is why.

The Bible says that we have “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  We have all “earned” death as a penalty, i.e., that’s the sentence for violating God’s law, for the “wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).”  That’s the bad news as this means not just physical death (it’s why every person dies), but also spiritual death, which is consignment to the blackness and torment of hell forever.  However, Easter is also about the good news, the best news that has ever been told.  The Bible says that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  That’s the only reason Jesus came to earth.  He didn’t die for His own sins, for He never sinned.  He died for us as our substitute, taking our penalty for us.  That won’t matter however if we don’t believe in Him and receive Him as the Lord of our life, which means to give Him complete control over every aspect of our life. 

The Bible says “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. . . For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:9,10, and 13).  Again, notice that it says “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.” That doesn’t mean to just believe that Jesus is real, that He died and rose from the dead, or that He is a prophet or a good teacher. The Bible tells us that the devil believes all those things.  The distinction is that the devil does not acknowledge Jesus as His Lord and Master – even though Jesus is the Lord of lords, in sovereign control of all. 

So on this Easter “holiday,” do you know Him? Have you received Jesus as your Lord?  Have you turned away from your sins and turned to Christ for forgiveness and salvation?  If you have, Easter is a joyous time to worship the living Christ with joy and gratitude in your heart. If not, Easter, unfortunately, means little more to you than a special day with family.  But it can mean everything to you if you will repent and trust the risen Christ with your life. 

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