|Posted by whybelieveinjesus on March 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM|
It's almost that time of year again! Its date may change from year to year but every spring we celebrate a new lease of life with chocolate eggs and treasure hunts and we call this festival Easter.
It doesn't tend to rank up there with Christmas on the most-exciting festival list because, and let's face it, we see Christmas stuff going on sale in September these days, and while it can be alarming to see us spending almost half a year working up to one day in December, when the 25th comes, most of us have a great time. So no, Easter doesn't get that hype even though eggs are often on sale well before Lent, but to a Christian, Easter is the most important festival. Why? Because while Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, Easter celebrates his resurrection shortly after his death.
The main reason we have eggs at Easter is because they symbolise new life, which is what Jesus himself achieved and has similarly promised for anyone who accepts him as their saviour.
Saviour from what?! "I don't need a saviour!" you may think, but wait a second. Are you perfect? Are you completely blameless? Or have you done things of which you're ashamed and would die of embarrassment if people could see into the depths of your mind? Don't worry - we're all the same! Human society in this world is far from perfect because it's inhabited by corrupted people, but despite our shortcomings, God wanted to repair the relationship we have with Him so that we could still know Him intimately despite the massive gulf that has a perfect, flawless God on one side and little insignificant us on the other. How do you bridge a gap like that? The answer is for God to become human, share our suffering and even to die for us!
So over two thousand years ago God came to live as a human amongst His people in the name of Jesus, and we celebrate this truly amazing move with the festival of Christmas. Thirty three years after Jesus was born, following years of his ministry he was totally despised by the Pharisees, betrayed by a disciple called Judas, and handed over to the Romans for one of the most horrific executions going, crucifixion. Well before all this happened though, Jesus had predicted all these things would come to be, and even the Old Testament scripture had pointed to it. But Jesus also proclaimed his return, saying that on the third day after being killed he would come back to life and show his mastery over death because while he was totally human, he was also completely divine (and death is no obstacle to God!)
With Jesus alive again, he had paid the ultimate sacrifice for all our flaws and imperfections (called sins) and had bridged the gap between us and God. Through Jesus and his immense sacrifice, we can truly know God. Anyone at all, regardless of everything, who believes that Jesus was God in human form, destroyed their sins with his death, and then returned to life, is similarly promised life after death. Now that's why we have every reason to celebrate Easter!
This Easter as you think of the Easter bunny, chocolate eggs and TV specials, remember also why we celebrate Easter in the first place, and how it shouldn't just mean something to Christians, but is meant for all people, you included. It doesn't matter who you are, how you were brought up, what language you speak, your race, your past, or anything at all - God loves you enough to send Himself to Hell and back to save your soul, and is offering you the gift of an everlasting and perfect life after this one. It's not too good to be true, but like any free gift, it can be ignored or rejected. While you still have air in your lungs and blood being pumped through your heart, seriously consider the implications of accepting Jesus Christ's invaluable sacrifice made just for you.