By Timothy Johnson
“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). This is the start of the Easter story.
You may be thinking, “Now wait a minute here, Preacher. That is the first verse of the Bible. Easter does not come along until the New Testament.”
Please sit back and allow me to explain.
God created the universe in six days. God created insects, land animals, and humankind on day six of creation.
Some things set us apart from the animal kingdom. First, God spoke them into existence like He did the rest of the universe (Genesis 1). But with us, God made us from the dust of the earth with His own hands (Genesis 2:7). Second, God gave us a soul. The fact of a soul leads us to number three – We are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
Being created in the image of God does not mean we look like Him physically. After all, billions of people look different within the human race. Being made in the image of God means we have the same essence as He does – body, soul, and spirit.
We have a physical body; Jesus is God incarnate. In other words, Jesus is God in the flesh.
Our spirit is that thing within us that asks the most profound questions. Things like – Is there a God? Why am I here? What is the purpose of all of this? We have a spirit because God has a Spirit. God’s Spirit does not ask these questions. He answers them. Our spirit, therefore, is the part of us that looks for the answer to life and communicates with God.
Lastly, our soul is our personality, what makes us tick. Our soul determines if we are greedy or benevolent, proud or humble if we love Bic Macs or broccoli. God, the Father, is the personality or soul of God.
In the long run, we have the will of choice, and the soul makes a choice. The difference between God and us is that He is holy and will never choose to sin. We decide to sin daily.
God knew that Adam and Eve would sin and, in preparation, had a plan in place for the salvation of the human race, even before He created us (1 Peter 1:18-21). God’s plan for our salvation is where Easter comes in.
We are all sinners, and the penalty for sin is physical and spiritual death (Romans 3:10,23; Romans 6:23). The only remedy for sin is a blood sacrifice (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22). One may wonder if a blood sacrifice washes away sins why Christians do not conduct animal sacrifices as the Jews did in the Old Testament. Part of the reason is that the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament were only a picture of the final sacrifice that God had planned before the creation of the universe (Hebrews 10:1-4). Those animal sacrifices of yesteryear took no one’s sins away. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).
The washing away of sins could only happen with a sinless sacrifice.
God is holy. Jesus Christ is the physical part of the trinity, God in the flesh. Only Jesus Christ could fulfill the requirement as the Lamb of God, the sacrifice.
Jesus, as the Lamb of God, came to this world and died for the sins of the world. He died for your sins. He died for mine. He died for the sins of the nicest person you know. He died for the sins of the worst scoundrel that ever lived.
That brings us to the crucifixion, but Easter is all about the empty tomb, the resurrection.
Why is Easter so important?
Our Saviour is not dead. The tomb is empty.
Jesus rose Himself from the dead; therefore, we know He is God, the Creator of the universe and the giver of life itself.
By having victory over the grave, we know He had victory over sin. Our sins are forgiven, and we are set free.
We can know for sure there is life after death.
Jesus promised to come get us someday. We know that is true because Jesus lives!
The resurrection gives us hope.
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 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.”
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preachers-point.com; Email: preachers[email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV.