It may seem a day late, yet instead I wanted to post my Easter celebration message today because there are many people, Christians included, who seem to remain glossed over with the holiday of Easter. We tend to be overwhelmed with the activities of Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets, lunch or brunches, visiting with family and such that even the Sunday message may be overlooked.
Thing back to my previous post on Good Friday. Jesus has just endured a horrific, pain laden day. He was nailed and hung on the cross where He gave up His Spirit and died. Just before death, He took on the weight of all of our sins...all of mankind's sins. All billions upon billions of persons sins, past, present, and future, and took the punishment that we were destined to face, yet the Heavenly Father had compassion and mercy on us and gave His only Son to be the perfect sacrifice once and for all for us.
Jesus was later prepared for burial, then placed in a tomb. Our sins were buried with Him. His Spirit loosened the chains of sins, freeing us so that on the third day, He arose into a new body.
Let me back step for a small bit because while He was in the tomb, Pilate, under the recommendation of the chief priests and the Pharisees (see Matthew 27:62), instructed the priests and Pharisees to secure the tomb as best as they could to ensure that there was no way for Jesus' body to be taken or for Jesus to actually move the large stone "door" if in fact He does rise again. In addition, a guard was posted to ensure the integrity of the seal and stone.
(Follow Matthew 28) On the third day, after the Sabbath or Sunday, women went out to spread more spices and scents on Jesus' body. It is important to note here that while Jesus was alive, He told all of His apostles along with the other followers that He would rise from the dead. He told them so that they would not be surprised and they would have hope but they unfortunately did not heed His instruction. Much like we have the Holy Bible, full of instructions and prophecies and yet we still miss the obvious.
Nonetheless, in that early morning the earth had a violent earthquake and the stone was rolled away by an angel of the Lord, then he sat upon that stone. His appearance was so breathtaking that the writer's best description was, "His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow." (Matthew 28:3) The guards were shaken from fear and fainted or passed out from their anxiety. However, the angel informed the women to not be afraid. The man, Jesus, whom they seek has risen from the dead. He has gone ahead to Galilee and would meet them there.
The key word here is that He has risen! Jesus said that He would rise on the third day and HE DID! Jesus tasted yet conquered death! Better than any super hero comic or movie, Jesus died for our sins. He was buried in a tomb. Then.... He arose victorious over Satan and death!
What does this mean to me? Interestingly enough, I heard a great description of this at a church my family and I visited this weekend that struck a cord with me. Pastor Greg Cooper of The Cause Church emphasized that there are many times that we look at Easter and there are times where as a Christian we tend to stop at the tomb and stop at the death part of our walk. We don't live past that moment and live in the victory of Jesus.
Easter is about the victory! Jesus won the battle! Jesus triumphed over the enemy again! We are in the New Testament era in which we only need to believe that Jesus is real. We need to have faith that all that Jesus did for us is true. He died on the cross, taking our punishment. He was buried with our sins. Then He arose in a new body, freeing all-of-us of our sins... I say again ALL......OF......US so that we could have a new life and to live eternally with God in Heaven.
Easter for me is a reminder that I am free thanks to Christ!
Would you like to know more about this liberty? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org