The Easter season is upon us. The two most significant events in the history of the world happened on the same weekend many, many years ago. The second could not have happened without the first, and the first loses its significance without the second. These events are the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Without the resurrection, the death of Christ becomes at best a martyr dying for a cause and at worst, just another murder. Because of the resurrection, the crucifixion of Christ is far more than either of those.
Without Christ’s resurrection, everything we believe and do for Jesus’ sake is worthless.
Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have no hope of anything beyond this life. 1 Corinthians 15:14,17, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain… . And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”
Without the resurrection, Christianity and all it stands for crumbles. Without a risen Saviour we have no salvation.
All of us have done something wrong. All of us are sinners (Psalms 53:3; Isaiah 53:6, 64:6; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). The fact we have all sinned makes us guilty before God.
As people, we tend to think of the severity of the crime. Murder is worse than being double parked. God, however, looks at guilt or innocence. James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” In society, yes the murderer should be punished with much greater severity than the fellow with the parking ticket, but in God’s courtroom of eternity, He is only interested in our guilt or innocence – not which sins we have or have not committed.
This guilt issue leaves the human race between a rock and a hard place because, as mentioned before, we all know none of us are innocent.
However God, knowing we were all going to be guilty of something, devised a plan to remove our guilt and save our souls. God’s only begotten Son came to be the sacrificial Lamb for each and everyone’s sins. 1 Peter 1:18-20, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” (see also Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Revelation 7:9).
By being the Lamb of God, by being the only acceptable sacrifice to God; Jesus can bare our sins and cleanse us from guilt. 1 Peter 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
Taking our guilt away is the purpose of the crucifixion.
And as we have seen earlier, without the resurrection the death of Jesus Christ is in vain. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the pardon God has written for our sins.
Years ago, when I worked for the Justice Department, President Clinton offered an amnesty to Oscar Lopez. Lopez refused the pardon and remained in prison. Just as Lopez needed to accept Clinton’s pardon to be free, we must accept God’s forgiveness to have our guilt removed.
An inmate accepts the President’s pardon by signing a few forms. People accept God’s pardon by putting their complete trust in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 3; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Earlier I made the statement that without the resurrection Christianity and all it stands for crumbles. People will often think that is a reference to those that deny the resurrection happened at all, but let’s take that one step further.
What about those that do not include the resurrection in Easter? There is nothing wrong with an egg hunt or a picture with a bunny, but without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Easter becomes a holiday of candy and chocolate and not one of life and hope. Without the empty tomb every Easter egg is cracked.
Have some fun this Easter season, but please, please, please, do not lose the significance of it in the process.
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