The greatest day


By Timothy Johnson

Preacher’s Point

People from around the globe will celebrate the most significant event in history this Sunday – the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Notable things about the resurrection.

Jesus rose Himself from the grave. No Apostle or anyone else came to the tomb and shouted, “Jesus come forth!”

The resurrection is one of the legs that Christianity stands on. If the Easter story is false in any way, Christianity is a false religion.

Without the resurrection, life after death is not possible. Our eternity would either be hellfire or a vast nothingness. We would cease to exist. Both thoughts are frightening.

The resurrection story starts four thousand years before Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Adam and Eve are in the Garden of Eden. God only gives them one thing they are not allowed to do: eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They disobeyed God by eating from the tree, and sin entered the human race.

Sin now separated man and God. The sinful nature passed from one generation to the next and is the reason for all the pain, heartache, and evil in the world.

Before He created us, God knew we would sin; therefore, He already had a plan to deal with the sin problem. Sin would be purged by blood, but it had to be sinless blood. Step in God in the flesh, Jesus Christ. Jesus would be the sinless sacrifice to wash away the sins of the world. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God in the flesh, the Lamb of God, God’s perfect sacrifice, would die for the sins of the world.

Moving forward to three days before the resurrection, Jesus was arrested for making Himself equal to God (the official charge was blasphemy).

He was taken and scourged. History tells us the Romans used a cat-of-nine-tails for scourging. A cat-of-nine-tails is a whip with nine leather strands. Imagine nine horsewhips connected to one handle. Embedded in each strand were glass, rock, and small pieces of iron. As a person was whipped, the embedded pieces would stick into the flesh. The whip would need to be yanked with a decent amount of force to remove the whip from the body of the one receiving the whipping. This jerking of the whip away for the prisoner resulted in hunks of flesh and blood flying in all directions. Forty lashes from a cat-of-nine-tails were used in death penalty cases by the Romans, as the prisoner was left to bleed out. They gave Jesus thirty-nine.

Governor Pilate believed Jesus was an innocent man, but he had an angry mob on his hands. Already under pressure from Rome to keep the peace, he thought if he nearly whipped Jesus to death, he could appease the crowd without killing the man. His plan failed as the crowd shouted all the more, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” In a last-ditch effort to release Jesus, Pilate decided to release one prisoner. He gave them a choice between Jesus and Barabas, a known thief and murderer. The crowd yelled for the release of Barabas. Pilate released Barabas and handed Jesus over for crucifixion.

Upon arriving at Mount Calvary, Jesus is laid on the cross; spikes are driven through His hands and feet, nailing Him to the cross. Once the cross is risen, death comes slowly through suffocation. Over time, the body’s weight hanging from the nail-driven hands begins to separate the lungs, making breathing harder and harder. Usually, under the feet was a peg or foot-sized plank protruding from the cross. Those hanging on a cross could then gather all the strength they could muster to push themselves up by pressing on the peg. This maneuver would give them momentary relief so they could get some air, but as the body grew weaker from the lack of oxygen, the strength to lift themselves would slowly diminish, and they would eventually suffocate.

Even with Jesus’ weakened body from the scourging, we know He lasted at least three hours on the cross.

Jesus made seven statements while on the cross, the last of which was, “It is finished” (John 19:30). It is finished—the blood sacrifice needed to wash away our sin, pay our sin debt to God, and restore the fellowship lost in the Garden of Eden was complete. No more sacrifice for sin is needed.

Jesus is buried, and then comes Sunday.

The stone is rolled away from the tomb. He is not there; He is risen.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the rock on which many Christian beliefs are built.

Jesus is God.

There is life after death.

We can have eternal life.

Jesus is coming back someday.

Jesus’ resurrection does not give humanity a blanket salvation. He does require us to believe it. 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.”

Saving faith is more than just acknowledging the facts. Satan believes in God to the extent of recognizing God’s existence (James 2:19).

Saving faith knows that you can do nothing about your sin problem. Yes, you can turn over a new leaf and never commit a particular sin again, but that does not reconcile all the times you did it before your change. Only God’s perfect, sinless sacrifice – His only begotten Son – can do that.

Do not ignore Easter. Do not treat the day as only a day for new clothes, time with family, and egg hunts. Take time to acknowledge that the Savior died for you, and salvation is open to you because of an open tomb.

Eternal life is a gift from God, only available through His Son’s blood sacrifice and the empty tomb.

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website:; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: All Scripture KJV.

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