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Easter, Our Foundation

“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”  1 Cor 15:17

This coming weekend, Christians all over the world are going to celebrate Easter Sunday.  It is the day we remember Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.  There are special Good Friday services that remind us how much He suffered as they beat, flogged and nailed Him to a rough hewn cross at the behest of the Jews, who did not recognize their long awaited Messiah.  Although these things were horrible and excrutiating, the hardest thing He endured was when he cried out, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”  He had never experienced this before.  He was always able to feel the Father’s presence.  However, at that moment, He could not sense the intimacy He had always known.  But it was necessary in order to pay the penalty for our sin. 

After His death, He was then taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed tomb.  Because of the Sabbath, they were unable to prepare Jesus for burial, so they waited until Sunday morning to perform the anointing of the body with myrrh and spices.  However, when the women reached the tomb, the body was gone, Jesus had risen.

This is but a brief accounting of the events that took place some two thousand years ago.   So many more things could be said, however, the question I have to ask is, what if the resurrection never happened?  What if Jesus died and stayed in the grave, or had never come in the first place?  Would life for us be dramatically different?  My answer is, absolutely YES! 

If Jesus had not died and rose from the grave, then we would still be dead in our sins.  There would be no salvation, no hope to escape the penalty for our transgressions because we are incapable of saving ourselves.  We who are finite cannot atone for sin against an infinite being.  Only an infinite atonement will do.   If Jesus did not raise from the dead, then our belief would be futile, of no use.  We would live our lives and then die, with our only destination, eternal punishment.

And if Jesus did not raise from the dead and go to be with the Father, the Holy Spirit would not be in us or in the world.  Sin and death would reign because nothing would hold back the evil.  “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.  Only He who now restrains it will do so until He is out of the way.”  2 Thes 2:7  The only thing that is restraining all out wickedness is the Holy Spirit.  If He were not here, then this would truly be hell on earth.

We would also miss the intimate relationship we currently have with our God.  Only through the events celebrated at Easter do we have access to the Him.  Our prayers would go unheeded, and we would be stuck fending for ourselves.  We would not experience the joy of His presence, or peace that passes all understanding.  We would not have that friend who sticks closer than a brother, and never leaves or forsakes us.  True love would be unknown, because God is true love. 

However, because He did rise from the dead, paying the penalty that was beyond our reach, we have all those things mentioned above and more.  We have an intimate love relationship with the triune God.  He lives within us, guiding us through lifes trials, showing us what He wants us to do, and at the same time, holding back the evil that will eventually be let loose upon this earth.  This is what we celebrate on Easter.  It is not a trivial event.  It changed our lives here and now, and it gives us hope for eternity.  “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him'” 2 Cor 2:9  ESV

So, we should celebrate Easter with all our hearts, soul, mind and spirit.  We should thank God for everything Christ’s death, burial and resurrection provided for us, because without it, there is no joy, peace, or hope.  Let’s not trivialize this holiday, but celebrate it for what it is, the foundation of our faith, hope, life, and existence as Christians.  It is our responsibility to share this hope with a watching world.  It is our number one priority.  As Paul said to the Church at Corinth, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.  For I decided to know nothing among you, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Cor 2:1-2  Let this be our anthem as we live our lives for Him.

Categories: Theology
  1. June 25th, 2011 at 09:43 | #1

    Hi Bill, if I may call you this way. In several aspects I agree with what you wrote about Easter. I also wrote an article on this topic, titled "Should Christians Celebrate Easter as a Moveable Feast?", available on the web. I think the only reason for us not to celebrate Lord's Supper on the same calendar day every year was that we didn't know the exact date of Jesus' death, and thus, the exact date of the Lord's Supper. Now we can know that day, as it's written and supported by biblical and historical evidence in my other article entitled "How Could Jesus Spend Three Days and Three Nights in the Tomb?". Jesus died on March 25 (Nisan 15/!/ not 14), 31 CE, at 3 pm on a Tuesday (!) and was resurrected by His Father Yahweh God on March 28, 31 CE, at about 6 pm on a Friday (!). Now that we know that date, what stops us from celebrating Lord' Supper after sunset on March 24 every year? I don't think we should continue celebrating our unique Christian feast in the shadow of Pagan Easter and Jewish Passover. I'm curious what you think about this. Blessings, Sandor

    • WilliamHF
      June 26th, 2011 at 14:26 | #2

      Hello Sandor. Thank you for visiting my blog site and for your comment. I really appreciate it. As for when to celebrate the event of the upper room passover meal, I have really no issue with when this is done. We should celebrate this throughout the year, and if the date of this event is March 24th, then this would be a great time to remember and celebrate it. As to the last line regarding Pagan Easter and Jewish passover, let me comment on this. We should definitely celebrate the Passover event, but not how the jews celebrate it. They do because it is a reminder of how God delivered them from Egypt, changing the heart of the Pharoah to allow them to leave. We should celebrate it for what God intended, a foreshadowing of the culminating event in the plan of God to provide salvation to mankind, which brought a restoration of the relationship between us and the Father. Therefore, the celebration of the Passover is absolutely a part of the Easter celebration. As for celebrating in the shadow of Pagan Easter, here is my take on this. Our celebrations should trump those that the pagans do. Paul would go into cities that were celebrating their festivals and preach the gospel. When he went to Mars Hill, he used their literature to give them the truth of God\’s plan. So why should we not do the same. During these celebrations of history\’s three most pivotal events, the Birth, Death and Resurrection of the Christ, we should show the world the truth and not back down. Also, during these times, the gospel message is presented through the songs of the season. During Christmas, Joy to the World and O Holy Night being a few. During Easter, the Halelluah Chorus. People are most open during these time to hear the message, so what better time to do so. So, I believe that we should absolutely celebrate at these time, because we are called to be a light in the darkness. But with the caveat that we do not allow any pagan traditions to enter into our celebrations, but keep the pure truth as the reason for what we do. I hope this helps. The core purpose of our lives should be to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. And whatever means we can use I believe is OK, as long as we do not compromise what we believe.

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