This year, Resurrection Sunday, commonly called Easter, falls on March 27th. On this day each year Christians remember the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus died as our substitute, on a cross on a hill outside of Jerusalem, to pay the penalty for our sins. He was then buried in a sealed and guarded tomb but after three days and nights, He was raised to life again, thereby securing complete forgiveness and eternal life for anyone who believes in Him as their Lord and Savior.
Sue and I recently saw the film, Risen, now playing in theaters everywhere. The film views the brief time period after Christ’s resurrection through the eyes of Clavius, a Roman Tribune, who was tasked by Pontius Pilot with finding Christ’s body after the resurrection. Pilot reasoned that, if he could produce the body of the Messiah, he would prove that Christ did not, in fact, rise from the dead, thereby also satisfying the Jewish religious rulers. I urge you to look up the details of the film, watch the preview, then go see this excellent movie, Risen.
Again this year, as in the past, Susan and I are privileged to host our families and a few close friends on this special day. As the day draws closer, Susan will be found scurrying about, planning to set a traditional Easter meal for everyone. I’m the helper, call me Donkey.
Leading off comes the white Easter Lamb cake with white coconut frosting (My favorite) graciously provided by a special friend. Then comes bunny shaped bread, bunny candies, colored and chocolate eggs, Jelly Beans … you know, the whole Easter parade thing. “It’s fun for the kids,” we reason, or “Hey, it’s traditional.” (Which it is.) Or whatever other classic excuse we come up with.
Now I understand the Lamb cake; Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for the sins of the world. But my question is, what in the world do Easter eggs, bunnies and Peeps etc. have to do with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
Actually … absolutely nothing!
As a matter of fact Easter, with all its trappings, including Easter eggs and rabbits, is the modern manifestation of the pagan holiday celebrating the imaginary goddess Ishtar. Ishtar (pronounced Easter) was the goddess of fertility. (got it? eggs, bunnies?) She was also called the goddess of the dawn (Sunrise, spring, etc.) She was worshiped in the ancient religion called Ashtaroth worship which is strictly condemned by God in the Bible. Google it. You’ll find enough information to fill books!
Easter (Christians should call it “Resurrection Sunday”), was the time roughly two thousand years ago when, on Friday, known as “Good Friday,” the Lord Jesus Christ was brutally beaten and abused, then crucified on a cross outside the Jewish city of Jerusalem. He became our sacrificial Lamb, our substitute, giving His life on the cross of Calvary in our place, to pay for our sins (Isaiah 53:5, 6.)
Having accomplished this work of redemption for mankind, His lifeless body was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. After three days and nights Christ rose to life again on Sunday, or Resurrection morning, victorious over death, the grave and the Devil. (Isaiah 25:8.) These historical events guarantee us complete forgiveness of our sins and the free gift of eternal life, if we will simply accept it.
Yes, the death of Jesus on the cross made it possible for us to be adopted into God’s family as one of His children (Ephesians 1:5). When we Receive God’s gift of eternal life, He grants us the right to become the children of God. (1 Corinthians 15:1a & 3b-4. John 1:12.)
And that is the simplicity of the Resurrection story; the best news to be announced to the human race in all the history of mankind! Jesus loves you and died in your place, as your substitute, to pay for your sins. (John 3:16-18.) If you have never yet received God’s good news of Resurrection Sunday by simply believing on (resting only upon) His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior, please consider doing so this year before this Resurrection weekend is over.
In closing, let me quote the words of Scripture mentioned above:
“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6, ESV.)
“He will swallow up death in victory (forever); and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 25:8, KJV.)
“In love … he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—“ (Ephesians 1:5, NIV.)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9, ESV.)
“For Christ died for sin once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,” (I Peter 3:18, NIV.)
“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you … that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1a & 3b-4. NIV.)
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:12, ESV.)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:16-18, ESV.)
For more information and Scripture about receiving the free gift of eternal life, please also read my free Gospel “Booklets”, top, left, on this website.
Lord bless and keep you all until next time,
Carl and Susan Peters