The Easter story. It’s a story that brings forth a mix of emotions for many of us. Maybe it’s because we can’t quite comprehend the magnitude of it all. It’s a story filled with trials and triumphs, hardship but victory, loss than life. And to think, it was all done…for you! For me, and every individual that has ever walked this Earth. It’s honestly quite humbling.
The story unfolds for us in the first four chapters of the New Testament, also known as the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
While each portrays a personal account of this all too precious and familiar story, they are all wrapped up in one foundational Truth that is often hard for us to fully grasp – Christ died for us!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
This beloved verse gets to the heart of our faith, portraying three key points:
1. God loves His creation. But He detests sin.
2. God sacrificed His Son to save us from a fallen world.
3. God gives us the choice. Die to self or accept Jesus and live eternally with Him.
Knowing that God is love and Jesus was willing to go to that cross for the sake of the world, it brings to question, “Why did Jesus have to endure so much suffering?” And… “What would have happened if He didn’t die on that cross and resurrect from that grave?”
You must understand that Easter isn’t just a story about a sinless man that lived a perfect life and died on a cross. He wasn’t just a man that loved others and performed miracles - He was the miracle! He was, and is, the main character of the story. Not just any story, but the most powerful story of all time. A story that continues to live on, where you are a beloved character! God knew the devastating impact that sin would have on your life. This is why He knew His Son would eventually be pierced for your transgressions. (Isaiah 53:5)
Jesus' suffering on that cross was a strategic plan from God, as it symbolized our sinful nature. Being a righteous God, it showed His wrath and judgment of our sins as Jesus took them on for us that day. It depicted our own human cruelty and how Satan tried to win and is still trying to win, to this day. Even though Jesus asked God to take this cup of suffering from Him in the garden of Gethsemane, in asking, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Jesus also knew in order to secure YOUR salvation; HIS suffering would be part of that cost.
Acts 4:11-12 tells us, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Furthermore, is it is said in John 14:6 that Jesus tells us He is the only way by saying, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Jesus’ saved us from our selfish, sinful selves, by His complete and final sacrifice. By accepting His story of love and brutal death on the cross, we acknowledge our need to be saved from a broken world. Jesus set us free. Free from the bondage of sin. Free to be forgiven. Free to live and love the way He did. We are redeemed because Jesus gave us a whole new life. He gave us a whole new purpose. With His death, we can choose to be His new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
His resurrection proves that He is not of man, but of God. If Jesus didn’t resurrect, we would have no hope of eternal life. We would be bound by our sins. Forgiveness wouldn’t matter. We would never be reunited with loved ones. Our testimony, story, and confessions of faith would be pointless. Yet, Jesus rising up from that grave allows us to share His story of defeating death. Offering others hope beyond this life. (1Thessalonians 4:13-14)
Jesus came to this Earth and died on a cross, not just to save us from this world, but in order for us to have eternal life – with the Father. We have to shift our perspective from this life to eternity. All that is required is that we accept the precious gift of His salvation. To believe that Jesus is our ultimate bridge from this world into the Heavenly realm.
So, yes, Jesus saw you on the cross. He saw you when He rose up from that grave. He still sees you and wants you to accept the truth behind the Easter story. The truth is that He died so you could be forgiven. The truth is that He rose up from that grave so you could live with purpose and hope of life after this one. Jesus was, and still is, the very best story of all time! And He is inviting you to accept His gift of life and share His powerful story with others. As Easter draws near, how will you respond?
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