If I could earn my way to heaven–
if I could work hard to be the best version of me,
it would never be enough.
I could try to be a loving person who sacrifices and denies myself for the greater good, and while I might feel self-righteous,
my holiness would be like filthy rags.
“How can we be saved if we remain in our sins?
All of us have become like something unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment;
all of us wither like a leaf,
and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.” Isaiah 64:6
As grim as it sounds, the reality is, we all sin. God is Holy and we are not. Sin has separated us from the One who created us and designed us for fellowship with Him. While the world celebrates with bunnies and eggs, the truth of Easter is that the baby in a manger that we celebrate at Christmas grew up. He came into this world with a mission: to break the power of sin in our lives and to set us free from its bondage.
Christmas matters because we remember that incredible moment when God became a man.
Easter matters because that same Jesus was crucified and died for our sin, then rose from the grave.
The empty tomb matters because it proves that Jesus has power over death and sin and hell.
Without the cross, there is no forgiveness of sin; without the resurrection, there is no hope of victory over the grave.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die–ever. Do you believe this?”
–Jesus, John 11:25-26
Why did Jesus, the Son of God, have to die? We deserved the penalty for sin, not Him–but He chose to take our place. To settle the debt, once and for all, providing the sacrifice for sin and the pathway to the Father.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Maybe for you, Easter has always been just another holiday. Or maybe you have celebrated by attending church without even realizing what it was all about. Much of the world recognizes Jesus and even will speak of who He is and what He did, but fails to personalize the story.
This story is about you. And me.
The Bible says that in His last moments, just before He was handed over to be crucified, He prayed. He prayed for Himself, for His disciples, and then for those who would believe:
“I made Your name known to them and will make it known, so the love You have loved Me with may be in them and I may be in them.”
There’s the answer to the question “why”–do you see it?
Much of the world knows the verse from John 3:16…
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
But it doesn’t end there–read John 3:17…
“For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
This Easter, don’t miss the message that God is sending you: He loves you. He proved it on the cross. He took your place because of His great love. The great truth of this message is that Jesus didn’t have to die—He chose to die–in our place. To bring us more than just eternal life, but abundant life now and forever. When we confess our sin and turn from it, He gives us a life that is free from the bondage of sin. When sin no longer has control of our lives, when we walk in daily submission to His plan and purposes, we experience the kind of freedom that brings peace and joy and purpose.
“I made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them and I may be in them.” John 17:26
The Bible gives us the facts about Jesus, but it also gives us very clear directions on how we can know Him. If you want to understand who He is and why He came, read the book of John.
Easter traditions can be meaningful, but nothing can take the place of knowing the Person of Easter. The life-changing truth of the Bible is more than just a story or a tradition. It’s what life is all about.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re “not enough”–like there is something missing in your life, this is it. There is, in all of us a God-shaped void that cannot be fulfilled by power, possessions, or fame. Jesus is the only thing that satisfies that hunger. I have to warn you, though–
More of Him means less of me.
Surrendering your life to Jesus means that you give Him control. Letting go of sin and pride, we look to Him for peace and purpose. There’s an old hymn that describes it this way:
All to Jesus I surrender,
all to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him,
in His presence daily live.
Won’t you surrender to Him today? He came to demonstrate His power and His love, and asks us, in simple faith to trust Him.
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
The gospel of Luke tells the story of a crowd pressing around Jesus, yet one woman who reached out to touch Him was healed. What made her different from everyone else pushing against Him? She reached out in faith. She knew she needed Him.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing against you.”
“Someone did touch me,” said Jesus. “I know that power has gone out from me.” When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched him and how she was instantly healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Faith matters, because you can know all the facts about Jesus, but if you have never recognized how much you need Him and made the choice to place your faith in Him, you are only educated about Him, not transformed by Him.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
If you would like some guidance on how you can trust Him in faith, go here to read more: FAITH
If you have more questions or have made the life-changing decision to follow Jesus, I’d love to hear from you!