Every year, I have a column named “Why Easter?” It is not the same column every year, but the goal is the same – to get people to think about what they think about Easter.
For many families, Easter has degraded into a holiday engulfed in eggs and bunnies. Recently, looking through a catalog, I noticed a lot of carrot themed items. I reckon this is a natural extension of the rabbit.
Whether you are extremely religious, or you think it is a day of egg hunts and chocolate or a little bit of both, I would like you to ask yourself one question – “Why Easter?”
Easter weekend is the celebration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Miraculous events (some would say, “far-fetched”) are prevalent throughout the Easter story.
The first miraculous event of the Easter story occurs roughly three decades before the first Easter. Jesus Christ is born. Jesus is the Son of God. His earthly mother was a virgin, and the Holy Spirit came upon her, and she was found with child by the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-37). Today, we seem to forget that His name was Jesus, but Christ is a title, meaning, Messiah, Saviour. From Matthew 1:23 and Isaiah 7:14, the Scriptures are clear that Jesus is God in the flesh. You may wonder what the birth of Christ has to do with the Easter story, but if Jesus is not God, He could not have brought Himself back from the grave. If Jesus is not God, there is no resurrection; if there is no resurrection, there is no Easter.
The second major miracle of Easter weekend was the death of Jesus. You may be thinking, “We all die, so how could His death be a miracle?” The point above – the fact that He is God is what makes this a miracle.
We all die because we are all sinners. We do not necessarily die because of a particular sin, but because of the sin nature that is within us. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
Because He was God, He was sinless. He died of His own choosing. John 10:17-18, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (see also Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30; Matthew 20:28; John 10:20).
Jesus is the Lamb of God because He is the only sacrifice that will appease the Father for our sins. He is the sinless sacrifice offered for the sins of the entire world; this is a miracle. 1 John 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
The next miracle comes Easter morning, the stone no longer covers the entrance to the burial vault, Jesus is not there – He has risen from the grave. The tomb is empty.
If the scales of life tipping to the righteous side, or if performing certain religious rituals or ceremonies could grant us a home in heaven, then why did Jesus die? Why would God have Easter at all? Why Easter?
If salvation could come by our righteous actions or our avoiding specific evil actions, then why did Jesus die on the cross? Why did He need to rise from the dead?
The reason is that obeying God’s law could not save us. Romans 8:3-4, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
A necessary part of our salvation is the resurrection of Christ. Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the pillars, without which all of Christianity crumbles. If the midst of eggs, bunnies, church services, and new clothes, please ask yourself, “Why Easter?”