Today, Resurrection, or Easter Sunday, is the day Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, the Lamb of God, the Christ. According to the Bible, Jesus is both fully God and fully human, sent to earth to pay the penalty for the sins of the world. The historical account of Jesus has incredible implications on our lives. First, let’s delve into the details of what Easter actually is.
The Bible teaches that all of humanity, despite being created by the God of the universe, has rebelled against Him in sin. Since the first man, Adam, invited sin into the world, the rest of his descendants have been tainted by a sinful nature that separates us from the Creator God. His perfection and holiness cannot be in the presence of our offensive and unrighteous sin. In all of His goodness and mercy, God still desires a relationship with the people He created. This means our relationship with Him, broken and shattered, somehow needed to be restored. That’s where Jesus comes in.
Jesus Christ was sent to the earth to be the atoning sacrifice for sin. He is often referred to in the Bible as the Son of God. While He was entirely human, He also is entirely God. He never sinned, though He experienced the temptations that humans live with. For three years, He carried out a ministry. Teaching, instructing, performing miracles, and proclaiming forgiveness of sins was essential to His work. Many people greatly admired Him, especially because of His miracles and signs. Feeding 5,000 people with merely a few loaves of bread and fish would probably catch my attention, too.
However, despite His teaching, bolstered by the miracles He performed in the sight of many people, the world rejected Him. In fact, the people in Jerusalem pleaded for the release of a murderer rather than the release of Jesus upon His arrest. In Luke 23, it reads: “But they all cried out together, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas” — a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Pilate addressed [the people] once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify Him!”” While Pilate did not find Jesus guilty, Luke says that the cries of the people prevailed, and Jesus was sentenced to a death He did not deserve. After hours of suffering on the cross, Jesus died. But He did not stay dead. Just as Old Testament scripture foretold, exactly as Jesus predicted, and precisely as God intended, He rose from the dead three days later. Luke chapter 24 recounts the words of an angel standing at Jesus’ empty tomb saying, ““Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but he has risen.”” Further, Jesus appeared to His disciples and many others following His resurrection, and later ascended to heaven. So what does this mean for us?
Despite the rejection and sentencing to death of Jesus seeming so incredibly unjust – and it was, this was His mission. He was sent to the world not to win favor, but to save souls. So when His blood, free of the stain of sin, was shed on that cross, it provided atonement for our sins. It was a sufficient sacrifice before the Lord to pay the penalty of death for our sin. His sacrifice and resurrection implies that there is hope for humanity to return to the order God had intentionally designed for us. We can have a restored relationship with God the Father through the shedding of Jesus’ blood.
The implications of the sacrifice are far greater than one might initially expect. Jesus Christ, instead of clothing Himself in the majesty He deserved, clothed Himself in our own dirtiness and sin. He bore it on Himself so we would not have to suffer the fatal consequences. Then after bearing the consequences, He broke them. He nullified death’s power by His resurrection. This means we have a serious decision to make. If He did all this to restore us to a rightful relationship with the Father, then we need to decide if we will partake in that relationship. Doing so requires us to abide by His ways, not our own. It requires us to sacrifice all of the things we treasure, the tangible and intangible. May it be our wealth or our status, everything must be surrendered unto Him. We all have the opportunity to do so and continue in following Him daily through personal surrender and seeking Him in His word.