Easter is about as late as can be on the calendar this year, but it has finally arrived.
Resurrection Sunday is the most critical day in Christianity. Without Easter, Christianity crumbles to dust and could easily be swept away. Easter is so important that people who do not step foot into a church any other day of the year will dress up and make an effort to go. To others, Easter is so important it is the main reason why they attend church the other 51 weeks of the year as well.
I wish people would sit back and take a long look at the first Easter – the day Christ rose from the dead.
What does the empty tomb of Christ mean?
Christ, by His own power, rose from the dead. That is the gospel narrative, that is what we need to consider – that He did this on His own. We do not read about any apostle coming to the tomb, raising his hands to the heavens, and proclaiming, “Jesus, come forth!” The apostles were in hiding. They were afraid the same fate that just befell their leader would soon happen to them.
Christ was able to raise Himself from the dead because He is the life (John 14:6), through Him all things consist (Colossians 1:17), and he made the universe (John 14:1-3,14; John 14:10; Colossians 1:15-17; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:1-2). Simply put Jesus Christ was able to raise from the dead because He is God.
However, just like a 5 year old, we have to ask, “Why?” Why would God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, come and suffer death? Why allow your own creation to hang you on a cross? Why would God go through the events of Passion Week? Why come to this earth at all; why not just sit back and watch what you have made?
Without the cross, there is no resurrection, but all of this needs a motive.
The motive for the cross and resurrection is us. All of us are sinners. Now before you start thinking, “I’m not all that bad” or “I’ve never killed anyone” consider James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James goes on to explain that it is not which sins you have committed; it is the fact that you have broken the law. In physical life, whether you are convicted of murder or receive a parking ticket, both are violations and are punishable by the law. The spiritual realm is the same – it is not which laws we have broken; it is the fact that we have broken the law – this is what makes all of us guilty.
Under God’s law sin needs be washed away by sinless blood, and that makes only the blood of God Himself capable of performing the task (Hebrews 9:22, 10:4). It is the blood of Christ that washes our sin away, Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” see also Romans 5:9, 1 Peter 1:18-19, and 1 John 1:7.
With sin being taken care of by the blood of Christ one more enemy needed doing away with – death. That is what the resurrection did; that is what Easter is about – victory over the grave. With the resurrection of Christ, we have hope and the promise of our eternal life.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”